Cotele Chapel, on the River Tamar by Prout, 1809
Cotele Chapel, on the River Tamar by Samuel Prout, engraved by J. Stewart, from The Beauties of England and Wales, 1809.
Cotehele is the name of the Edgcumbe Family estate in Calstock, which is now open to the public and operated by the National Trust. The main building phases of the house occurred under Sir Richard Edgcumbe and his son Sir Piers Edgcumbe, from 1485-89 and 1489-1520 respectively. It is one of the least altered Tudor era buildings in the United Kingdom. Cotehele Chapel was built some time between 1485 and 1490. It was constructed over looking the River Tamar on the site where Sir Richard escaped being captured by Sir Henry Trenowth of Bodrugan, in 1483, by throwing his hat into the river and hiding in the trees. He was then able to join Henry Tudor in Brittany and, following the defeat of King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field, was knighted by him in 1485.
Samuel Prout (1783-1852) was an English watercolorist. He especially excelled at painting architectural scenes. While attending Plymouth Grammar school he and Benjamin Robert Haydon where encouraged by the headmaster to pursue their interests in art. Prout joined John Britton on a tour of Cornwall and sketched a number of scenes for his The Beauties of England and Wales. After moving to London in 1803, he strove to improve his technique and develop his style. He travelled extensively through Europe, particularly Venice, in search of subject matter, preferring to paint charming city streets and elegant edifices instead of wild landscapes or quaint pastures. Ruskin praised his skill at rendering the essence of such structures in such a natural and picturesque manner. In 1829, Prout was given the honor of being Painter in Water-Colours in the Ordinary to King George IV and later to Queen Victoria.