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History of The Balcony Studio

This house is one of the oldest and most famous properties in St. Ives and dates back hundreds of years. It is a listed building due to its historic significance and is a landmark property in the town. It has been featured in countless photographs for many years with its distinctive balcony forming a famous and well loved feature of St. Ives.


It has been the home of famous artists, writers and sea captains for years and was a hub for many artists who came to paint its incredible view, hence it becoming known as a studio, the "balcony" studio.


Pauline Hewitt painting from the balcony in 1944.


The balcony predates the walkway outside, and used to hang directly above the beach and sea below. Once the sea defence wall was built with the walkway (known as Lambeth Walk) on its top, the balcony was such a famous feature of St. Ives that it was listed and retained due to its historic significance.


In the 1950s The Balcony Studio was visited many times by Patrick Heron CBE. Patrick was an abstract and figurative artist. Influenced by Cezane, Matisse, Braque and Bonnard he made a significant contribution to modernist art. The Balcony Studio, its view and St. Ives as a whole inspired his work and it was here that he painted his famous work "Harbour Window and Two Figures" which is shown below.


Sea captain, author and one of St. Ives most loved characters Captain Phil Moran lived here for many years. Phil was a very well known resident of St. Ives and was known to many visitors to the town as he often sat out on the balcony and always had a friendly word or a smile for passers by. 

Phil was a highly renowned seaman, and was highly ranked in St Ives RNLI. Phil also became a famous author, writing and creating Soggy the Bear series of children's books. We have a full set of first editions of the books, some of them signed by Phil here in the place were they were written for our guests to enjoy.


Here is an image of Phil (on the right) collecting a donation for the RNLI with a Royal Navy Helicopter in attendance. 

In respect of Phil, and his love and dedication to the RNLI in St. Ives we will donate a percentage of our annual bookings to St. Ives RNLI


Interestingly, the Cox of that boat in the image is another famous St. Ives resident and painter Eric Ward who was also a member of St. Ives RNLI.

Eric painted the painting in our bedroom from the balcony, as you can see below


Eric Ward painting on the balcony.                Refurbishment of The Balcony Studio in the 1970s


Following the sad passing of Phil, The Balcony Studio was purchased by its current owners who invested in a full and painstaking 18 month restoration of the property in 2021. Working in conjunction with Cornwall Council and English Heritage in full compliance to the listing. The work required stripping the property right back for new electrics and plumbing as it had not been touched for many years. The restoration was completely sympathetic, by local tradesmen to this unique property and we have retained, restored and salvaged many original features. Using all original timbers where possible to be resused, including the ship's mast that forms a beam in our bathroom and original floor timbers that now form the lining around the tin bath. Hopefully the restoration will preserve this beautiful old property for future generations to enjoy. 



With thanks to Phil Moran's brother Paul for his help compiling this history. 

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