Lorelei looks over the Helford River – a romantic estuary, with thick dark scrub oak trees running right down to the water. Save for the hamlets of Durgan, Helford and Helford passage, houses are few and far between, more often inland up the side creeks than in the estuary itself. Sometime in the eighteenth century, an oysterman’s cottage was built on the upper reaches of the river and then in 1832, Jonathan Mayne built a small sea wall and granite ramp, inscribed with his name and the date. Then, in the 1930’s, Lorelei was built fifty yards above the beach, and has since been completely redesigned and rebuilt. The house is quite large and in an exceptional position, opposite Frenchman’s Creek, facing south across the river with barely a house in sight, and with views both up and down river.
The house is up a private drive, some mile and a quarter long, and passing a farm. All but the last poor section of road is tarmaced and this last section is not suitable for low slung cars. In the spring when birds are nesting the wild flowers and grasses in the hedges to the sides can impinge on this last section of track. Much of the drive in is on a ridge beside a creek and with stunning views of the estuary and the surrounding countryside. The garden, of about half an acre, runs down to the edge of the river, where there are steps to the beach.