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December 2, 2009

Trevail, Silvanus (1851-1903)

Silvanus Trevail was born in Luxulyan, Cornwall in October 1851. He rose to become Mayor of Truro and, nationally, President of the architects’ professional body, the Society of Architects. His success however, did not bring him happiness. Trevail had a history of depression and had been unwell for some time before committing suicide. In November 1903 he shot himself in the lavatory of a train as it entered Bodmin Road railway station. He was Cornwall’s most famous architect, certainly of the 19th century. Following the Education Act of 1870 which created Board Schools, Trevail designed around fifty such schools throughout the county. He also designed hotels including the Headland Hotel, Newquay, and restored the church at Temple. He was said to be a man ahead of his time, a campaigner for sanitation improvements and an entrepreneur.

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