200-Year-Old Cornish Garden To Be Restored To Former Glory

By Graham Spicer | 11 June 2007
photo of a brick archway leading to a garden path

The gardens at Trengwainton were first laid out almost 200 years ago. © NTPL/Andrea Jones

A 200-year-old kitchen garden in Cornwall is to be restored to its full working glory by the National Trust.

The Grade II-listed 1.5-acre walled garden at Trengwainton, near Penzance, was laid out around 1820 and built to the dimensions of Noah’s Ark as outlined in the Bible.

Trengwainton’s favourable climate means that it contains many species that cannot be grown in the open anywhere else in the country and it has unusual sloping beds, which were designed to help drainage.

photo of a walled garden

The gardens will be split into five distinct growing areas. © NTPL/Andrea Jones

“The unique nature of the garden with its sloping beds enabled food to be produced even in the wettest months,” said Ian Wright, Head Gardener at Trengwainton.

“We hope the kitchen garden at Trengwainton will act as an inspirational demonstration garden, showcasing traditional and modern varieties growing side by side.”

“A further aim is for the produce, namely fruit and vegetables, to be used in the Tea House and last, but certainly not least, we hope it will become a wonderful opportunity for the local community to become involved and a great educational resource for local schools.”

photo of a magnolia tree in front of a garden

Magnolia cylindrica in flower at Trengwainton. © NTPL/Andrea Jones

A £54,000 donation from the Trustees of the former Friends of Probus Garden (another famous Cornish Garden - currently closed and awaiting redevelopment) will allow the kitchen garden to be divided in five different growing areas. Both traditional and experimental methods will be used to grow a variety of fruit, vegetables and flowers.

There will also be an orchard outside the walled garden which will be used for planting old and new varieties. The whole project is expected to take five years to complete.

In addition to the restoration of the garden, the National Trust are spending £40,000 to restore the Victorian glasshouse, built in 1860 and the only surviving original glasshouse at Trengwainton.

photo of a walled garden

The foliage garden with its many varieties of trees and shrubs. © NTPL/Andrea Jones

Other improvements will include the reinstatement of the orchard paths and the restoration of the Victorian bee house, which is a rare surviving example. The bees will aid pollination of the gardens’ fruit.

Trengwainton's gardens lead up to a terrace and summer house which enjoy extensive views of Mount's Bay and The Lizard Peninsula.

For information about Trengwainton visit the National Trust website - link opens in a new window.

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