The Minack Chronicles

Derek & Jeannie Tangye


It has often been assumed that Derek owned Minack (Dorminack) but this was not the case. Derek and Jeannie Tangye had the tenancy of Minack through the Tregothnan Estate for the whole period they lived there. He had first secured the tenancy in 1958 for 20 years, some several years after they first moved there. The cottage and land around it is part of  the Tregothan Estate, under Lord Falmouth, that owns Dorminack, whilst Oliver Land, adjacent to Dorminack, is a separate plot of land  which was purchased by Derek and Jeannie Tangye and forms 'The Derek and Jeannie Tangye Minack Chronicles Nature Trust.' (Oliver land)

There were four applications - one from two of the Trustees as a joint application, two from separate individuals, (one of which was an Associate Trustee) and the fourth from another Trustee, the successful applicant, Jane Bird (nee Wyllie)  and her partner, Peter Clough, who were to run an horticultural business at Minack.

The tenancy was advertised as a tender which would run for a set number of years. The holding includes Dorminack cottage, outbuildings and land; in total 21.325 acres. The land includes areas of ‘croft’, copse and cliff lands. Both the cottage and stables were  listed, 15 December 1988,  for their special architectural/ historic interest.  See the map in The Way to Minack.

Following Derek’s death the tenancy was advertised in 1997. Applicants for the tenancy were expected to submit a very lengthy application detailing not only their expectations of why they should acquire the tenancy but also their agricultural background, and the agricultural machinery and equipment they would employ and submit their business plans and aspirations for the tenancy.

Dorminack Cottage

At the time Derek and Jeannie lived there they had three rooms in the cottage with the addition of the  'shed' which had three very small room which were divided from the cottage by a doorway that had been created through the granite wall. This led into a small clothes storage area leading to a narrow bedroom for guests which then led onto the bathroom. 
The entrance to the cottage was via 'The Porch'. From here a stable door led into the 'sitting room'.