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Living at Trelissick
Looking after a mansion with 12 bedrooms, five bathrooms, an assortment of sitting rooms and dressing rooms, dining room, drawing room, library and solarium is a mammoth task for its present-day squire, 38-year-old William Copeland and his family.
But does the lure of a modern house with all its easy-living attractions tempt him away from Trelissick, by now home to five generations of his family?
Not a bit. They love it and are thriving on it.
In the two years since he and his wife Jenny moved in with daughter Alice, and twins Octavia and Toby, the Copelands have taken up the huge challenge. And they can say with some confidence that they are definitely keeping alive this imposing colonnade-fronted home in its idyllic parkland setting.
Like the 2000-piece china collection it houses and which is now more open to the public than previously, William believes valuable things should not be shut away.
"People say: You don't use all those rooms do you? But we do," he said. "They are there and are nice rooms and we enjoy them."
William has happy childhood memories of the house with his late father Spencer Copeland, and his mother Jean, and had the past 22 years to prepare himself for life in a stately home.
His family house in Bristol was bursting at the seams, the children were ready to move school, and he said the time seemed right.
The house, an important listed building, is full of antiques, paintings, masses of books, and an awe-inspiring amount of china.
The famous Copeland China collection consists of 200 years of Spode-Copeland china dating from 1770. First exhibited at the Spode works at Stoke-Upon-Trent in a gallery designed by William's grandfather Ronald Copeland, it includes Spode ware, Sevres and pieces by many well-known artists and manufacturers.
When the Copeland family control of the firm came to an end in 1966 the collection was closed to the public. Eleven years later William's father removed it piece by piece to Trelissick which had then become the home of Ronald and his wife Ida after she inherited it from her father Leonard Cunliffe.
In 1955 the mansion and 376 acres of surrounding park and woodland were given to the National Trust by Ida Copeland with the agreement that future generations of the Copeland family would always be able to live there.
William has recently retrained from his career with wine and spirits company Allied Domecq in Bristol to become a yacht surveyor, working from home. Having sailed for 32 years he has good experience of marine craft and is already building up a steady business.
With more public viewing days of the collection, visitor attendances have practically doubled. New exhibitions are already shaping up with plenty more in the pipeline thanks to the family's enthusiasm and dedication.
William and Jenny conduct guided tours, helped by Jenny's parents John and Lorna Hodgson, and even the children help by handing out leaflets when they are home from school.
Another new business plan involves using the mansion's grandiose solarium and library for wedding receptions.
In the past two years, 25 of the mansion's rooms have been redecorated, and there has been an all-important makeover of three small rooms to provide a huge family kitchen.
"We have tried to make this a family friendly, homely place but always being sympathetic to the style of the house," said William.
Some ancient fireplaces and doors have been unearthed from the cellars and these have been reintroduced.
The Copelands think they have just about explored everything in the vast house, but occasionally on a winter's day will tackle a new box or bundle in an attic.
Keeping the house clean is a massive task, given that the family has only one domestic helper for one or two days a week. "It is a struggle, but the days are gone when you could employ an army of servants," said William. "The children are very good and like to help, though!"
And so it continues, the ongoing programme of refurbishment and redecoration, the need to promote and enlarge the collection, and the desire to work hand in hand with the National Trust to benefit both Trelissick Garden and their home.
"It will always be hard work, but interesting and challenging, and there are always exciting opportunities for doing things with the collection, our wedding scheme, and possibly to entertain visitors from cruise liners," said William.