Duchy of Cornwall refurbished cottage on Scilly Isles – for £340K

The Duchy of Cornwall carried out a “major refurbishment” of a cottage for £340,000, its accounts revealed.

The Prince of Wales’s landed hereditary estate published its own financial report on Tuesday, which detailed the refurbishment of Myrtle Cottage on the Isles of Scilly.

Annual accounts for the Duchy were released on the same day as the Sovereign Grant figures, which showed the cost to the taxpayer of renovating the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Frogmore Cottage came to £2.4 million.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Myrtle Cottage on St Agnes was underpinned, insulated, repointed, rewired, replumbed and dry-lined, had a new floor laid and was given a new kitchen, bathroom and Cornish Trevillet slate roof for £340,000.

The Duchy report said: “During the year, a £340,000 major refurbishment was completed at Myrtle Cottage, St Agnes, Isles of Scilly.

“The building had previously been used as seasonal holiday accommodation, but after this comprehensive refurbishment it was able to be let to a local St Agnes family from this off-island community, where housing is much in demand.”

Janet Stewart, who now lives in the cottage, said in the report that she had waited 11 years for a family house to be available, and moved in last August.

The work was part of the Duchy’s commitment to add to the permanent housing stock on St Agnes.

“After living with my parents for all that time, it has been amazing to have so much more space,” Ms Stewart said.

“The children have a bedroom each, and we have been able to unpack belongings we haven’t seen in a decade.

“Being able to live at Myrtle Cottage has meant that we can continue living on the island for the long term.”

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall on St Agnes
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall on St Agnes

The cost of transforming Myrtle Cottage was met by the Duchy, rather than from public funds.

As heir to the throne, Charles is entitled to the surplus generated by the duchy’s vast portfolio of lands, buildings and financial investments
– which includes the Oval cricket ground, 67,000 acres of Dartmoor and the Scilly Isles.

The Duchy’s total assets are more than £1 billion – coming to £1,099,748,000 in 2018/2019 – up £33 million from £1,066,505,000 the previous year.

Charles’s annual income from the duchy is £21.6 million.

The private landed estate was created in 1337 by Edward III to support his son and heir Prince Edward, known as the Black Prince, and all his subsequent heirs.

The exact details of the Myrtle and Frogmore Cottage renovations have not been revealed, nor the exact size of the properties.

Harry and Meghan’s official residence near Windsor Castle is a Grade II listed building.

Five small dormitory style units were converted back into a single home for the couple and their baby son Archie – with all fittings and fixtures privately paid for by the duke and duchess.

A royal source said the major work on Frogmore Cottage included replacing defective wooden ceiling beams and floor joists, updating outdated and inefficient heating systems, substantial new electrical rewiring, including its own electrical sub-station, and new gas and water mains.

Harry and Meghan paid for the fittings and furnishings privately.