Trebah Gardens, Cornwall

trebah gardens cornwall

Trebah is a spectacular 25 acre ravine garden that drops 200 feet from the 18th century house to a private beach on the Helford River. The lawns at the top of the garden offer a view over what is a sub-tropical jungle with enormous Australian tree-ferns and palms, mingling with native 100 year old rhododendrons, magnolias and camellias.

A stream tumbles down the garden over waterfalls, through ponds with Koi Carp and winds through 2 acres of white and blue hydrangeas to finally reach the beach. The beach is peaceful and secluded, and is open to garden visitors. It has a memorial to the men of the 29th US Infantry Division who embarked here for the D-Day assault on Omaha Beach

Trebah (pronounced Tree-bâ) is Celtic for ‘The House on the Bay’ and is first mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as the property of the Bishop of Exeter. For the next 745 years it was passed between Squires and Yeoman farmers until 1831 when it was acquired by the Fox family of Falmouth.

Trebah was first laid out as a 26 acre pleasure garden in the 1830s by Charles Fox, a Quaker polymath of enormous creative energy. It became a collection of the rarest and most exotic plants and trees from all over the world. By the 1930's it was regarded as one of the most beautiful gardens in England. However in 1939 the estate was sold and split up. The gardens plunged into 40 years of neglect. Charles Fox appears to have ben a brother of the neighbouring garden founded at Glendurgan by Alfred Fox, and another at Penjerrick by Robert Were Fox

In 1980 Trebah was bought by the Hibbert family who began massive restoration work, and opened the gardens to the public in 1987. They then donated the Garden, Trebah House and Lodge in 1990 to the Trebah Garden Trust which is a registered charity, to ensure it will remain open to everyone for ever. The trust is managed by a council elected by the 600 members

In 2000 a £1.94 million grant from The Heritage Lottery Fund and Objective One allowed Trebah to build the new ‘Hibbert Centre’, restore the Nursery, rebuild Alice’s seat, and carry out major landscaping and garden improvements.

tropical gardens

Listed by the Good Gardens Guide as one of the 80 finest gardens in the world. The extensive collection of rare trees and shrubs includes glades of huge sub tropical tree ferns and palms, interspersed with giant gunnera and echiums. Best known for the spring flowering rhododendrons, camellias, magnolias, pieris, azaleas and primulas. There are now plantings for colour from March to October.

Trebah Gardens


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