Trelissick, Cornwall

Trelissick, Cornwall gardens

Trelissick National Trust gardens overlooking the River Fal. Trelissick house, a large 19th century country house with a Grecian facade, is not open to the public. The gardens consist of extensive parkland, woodlands and flowering shrubs best seen in spring and early summer. There are 500 acres of parkland and riverside woods plus a shop, restaurant and art and craft gallery.

In about 1750 a two-storey villa was built at Trelissick on the foundations of an earlier building. Thomas Daniell then bought Trelissick in 1800, with the money from tin-mining interests. Peter Frederick Robinson was commissioned by his son, Thomas Daniell, to redesign the building in 1825.

And Thomas Daniell planted the woodlands that run along the shores of the Fal estuary, originally as carriage drives, but now they are used as woodland walks. The Gilbert family owned Trelissick between 1844 and 1913, and made many improvements to the grounds. The ornamental woodlands, oaks and conifers where planted during this time. In 1937, Mrs Copeland inherited Trelissick, and created the garden that exists today.

The King Harry Ferry crosses the Fal near here, and it is believed that a ferry has operated here for over a thousand years, though the Harry in question is Henry VI. The ferry carries 28 cars across the Fal, and is pulled by a diesel-powered chain drive and takes 8 minutes.

And round the corner from the King Harry Ferry you will suddenly find large ships moored in this part of the Fal. They can just be mothballed here till they get cargo, or under arrest by the Admiralty Marshal or due for the breakers yard.

On the other side of the river is Tolverne, an embarkation point for US troops on D-Day having been visited by General Eisenhower.

West of Carnon Downs is the thatched Quaker meeting house of Come-to-Good, from the Cornish for "house in the wooded combe" It has now been re-thatched and restored and is again a place of worship. The exterior features thatch, whitewash and leaded windows. The interior is simplicity itself and, even when empty, has a touching religious tranquility.


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