Ealing House History 

Despite its modern appearance Ealing House is a traditional fisherman's net-loft as the granite quoins, with their original holes for the pegs to hold the nets, testifies.

Built circa 1850, of almost two feet thick (60 Centimeter) granite & slate walls and old oak timbers, at the time Ealing House was built, the outer harbour at Porthleven had been completed some 25 years previous but the pier and inner harbour protection was still under construction. Clearly the port was beginning to flourish and fishermen began to construct their homes near and around the port but just sufficiently away to avoid the vagaries of the winter weather.  Little of the early history of the property is known: Title Deeds do not now detail previous ownership, although we are investigating. What we do know however is that the lower floor was used for hanging the fishing nets and the upper floor housed the living quarters.  The wide entrance was later narrowed to form a central doorway and much later still the porch was added; largely giving it the appearance it has today.

The house formed part of the Penrose Estate, as did much of Porthleven, and in a conveyance dated 28th July 1926, John Peverell Rogers (the then Squire of Penrose) sold land and property to the then recently wed (Q3 1925 at Helston), Thomas James Hocking (a coal merchant) and his wife Emily Jane (née Turner), for £230. This property comprised what is now Ealing House plus two cottages that are now combined as Kyldenna (formerly named Homleigh) and cellars to the rear. 

The land next door, upon which Trefusis (formerly Jersey Cottage) stands, is shown as another property owned by the Squire and the building the other side of Ealing House is described as a Fish Cellar occupied by Fox & Co, behind which is a garden with land and property.  The plans are definitely inaccurate though as they show properties, yards and lands stretching as far as The Gue (then spelt Gew) though both Elfin Cottage and cottages in Church Lane, that must predate 1926, are not shown.  The plans are arguable as there is much property situated between Kyldenna and The Gue and the buildings are out of proportion with the described land area.  Prospect Place is an unnamed road and the path leading to Kyldenna (Church Lane) is also unnamed.

What is particularly interesting however, is that Ealing House is described as a shop and dwelling house late in possession of Harriet Kitto (sister of Richard Kitto who famously owned the Porthleven boatyard). On the 1861 census, Harriet Kitto was said to be a 22 year old Grocer's assistant in Breage and on the 1871 census she was an unmarried Grocer.  Then by the 1881 census she was a shopkeeper in Porthleven; still unmarried, with her assistant (& niece) Elizabeth Kitto.  Harriett remained a spinster as the 1911 census shows her as the owner of a six-room "small general shop" in Prospect Place [later to be named Ealing House].

Thus Ealing House was almost certainly used as a shop from the 1880's through 1911 and, almost certainly, later and perhaps on to 1926 when Harriet passed away at the age of 87 during the March Quarter; shortly after which its conveyance to the Hockings occurred.  Clearly, whilst Harriet Kitto was resident and paying a nominal rent, the Squire was content with the status quo.   

What the cellars are to the rear of Kyldenna is unknown. However it is known that the two cottages comprising the now named Kyldenna were sold by the Hockings' to the Orchards' in 1930 for the princely sum of £150; Ealing House therefore having cost the Hockings' £80. Kyldenna stayed in the Orchard family for 66 years.

In 1930, the Hockings' altered the front elevation to Ealing House, making it more homely, by adding the front porch/conservatory and balcony prior to which the entrance was from steep steps up through the double doors (the shop front). The new porch facilitated easier entry to Ealing House but due to the lay of the land you now step down into the house. The Hockings retained Ealing House as landlords as they made their home in what is now the An Mordros hotel on Peverell Terrace.

From the late 30's to 1946 (his death) Ealing House was the home of Percy Edward Pinkerton the translator, writer and poet.  And from the late 40's through the 50's it was a sweet shop and tobacconists.

The property is approximately 100 yards from the harbour area. However, due to the surrounding properties (some built in recent times) the cottage doesn’t now possess views of the harbour; although the hillsides to the west are clearly visible and a glimpse of the sea may be had from the balcony on good days. The cottage faces due south west and therefore, weather permitting, the front benefits from sunny afternoons in both summer and wintertime. Though its position also serves to provide considerable protection in stormy weather and its location was no doubt well considered by its builders for that very reason. 

Ealing House was named by Emily Hocking (its first owner) who hailed from Ealing (West London).