Godolphin House is a granite-built Tudor and Stuart house.
The house seen today is a remnant of a far larger building that was the home of the Godolphin family until the middle of the 18th century. The Godolphins, who made their wealth from the local tin-mining industry, were one of the leading families of west Cornwall.
By the mid-16th century the house consisted of three ranges of buildings with the courtyard closed off by a crenellated wall on the north side.
Sir William Godolphin, a soldier in the service of Henry VIII, made some alterations to the house and further work was carried out at the end of the 16th century by Sir Francis Godolphin, Governor of the Scilly Isles.
The present north or entrance range was probably added in the 1630s by his son William to replace the screen wall. In the mid-17th century the building reached its heyday and by 1689 Godolphin House contained around 100 rooms.
William Godolphin's grandson, Sidney, was Queen Ann's Lord Treasurer between 1702 - 10 and was responsible for financing the Duke of Marlborough's wars. He was created Earl of Godolphin and his son married Marlborough's daughter.
The 1st Earl spent little time at Godolphin House and the 2nd Earl even less. On the death of the 2nd Earl in 1766 the estate passed through his daughter to the Duke of Leeds.
In 1805 a considerable part of the building was pulled down, including the 16th century hall, and Godolphin became simply a farmhouse.
The Duke of Leeds sold the house in 1929 and now under the care of the National Trust.
The north range, facing the entrance forecourt, is long and symmetrical with a colonnade of Doric columns at ground level and mid-17th century mullioned and transcomed windows. Under the colonnade a gateway, dated 1575, leads through the original screen wall into the courtyard.
The east and west ranges survived the early 19th century demolition. The mullioned windows of the east range are 1530 - 40 but those of the west range date from the early 17th century. Only the front wall and Gothic-arched porch remain from the south or hall range
The rooms are suitably furnished with good pieces of old furniture and tapestries. Some of the furniture is original to the house, having been bought back.
The Entrance Hall has a splendid 16th century chimneypiece but the finest decoration in the house is found in the Dining Room. This has linen-fold panelling and carved beams dating from the early 16th century. On the wall is a painting of the 2nd Earl's famous stallion 'Godolphin Arabian' by John Wooton dated 1731.
On the first floor a passageway leads to the west range which housed the principal reception rooms at Godolphin's peak in the 17th century.
Most of the rooms are simply decorated but the King's Room (the original Great Chamber) has an ornately carved doorway dating from 1604 which commemorates the wedding of Sir William Godolphin to a daughter of the Sidney family.
Godolphin House has extensive farm buildings and the original Elizabethan stables. Remnants of the old formal gardens can be seen on the north and east sides of the house. Gardens include raised walks and carp ponds.