Moving in

We purchased Maningham on 12th March 2021. Since then we have been moving in and starting to do things together. We have faced the challenge of following Covid regulations and forming a single household, as well as receiving many lorry-loads of furniture and belongings from our past lives. The weather has been glorious and life is good.

My first visit to the new community at Maningham

I paid a visit recently to a new cohousing community in Illogan, north of Redruth. Surrounded by mature woodland, gardens alive with spring colour and spacious lawns, Maningham is an elegant late Georgian mansion with fine outbuildings, workshops and a timber greenhouse. Not long ago a dozen people moved in as the first residents of this newly formed community based on Quaker principles. Just like any house recently occupied, the corridors and communal rooms were piled with the assorted stuff of people’s lives, but there was an atmosphere of purposeful excitement as folk busied themselves with settling into their new rooms and others preferred to be outside in the promising warmth of the April sunshine.

My guide, Jackie Carpenter, one of the founders of this project, showed me around the gardens and woodland. The front lawn had already been laid out to small, manageable vegetable beds, freshly dug and manured. The shaded walkways were vibrant with the blossom of magnolia, rhododendron and azalea. Plans are afoot to turn part of the enormous back lawn into a flower meadow and an area for a marquee to house future retreats, parties or gatherings. The greenhouse was full of healthy seedlings and chitting potatoes; a resident was doing carpentry in one of the outbuildings.

This is clearly a community with a vision and a strong set of values. It’s in its earliest days at present and there are masses of tasks to be done and numerous issues, human as well as logistic, to be tackled. But they have the summer ahead, a powerful mix of skills amongst the residents and a palpable sense of cooperation and goodwill.

It was a real pleasure to share their enthusiastic vision.

By Des Harris, member of the Quaker Meeting at Marazion