Tregrehan House and Gardens

A Car Free Day Out around St Austell EA15

Gardens, St Austell
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Gardens, St Austell

A beautiful house and gardens with limited opening times:
Mid March – May open 10.30am – 17.00 Wed, Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays.
Tel no. 01726 814389    www.tregrehan.org

Open mid March – late May
Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,Sunday, Bank Holiday Mondays   1030 – 1700
Open June – August on Wednesdays only from 1300 to 1630.
Admission £5 adults (2009), groups by arrangement

Tregrehan has been the home of the Carlyon family since the 16th century. The current occupier since 1987 is Tom Hudson, cousin of the late Gillian Carlyon. The listed house dates back to the late 17th century but was extensively remodelled in the mid 19th century.

The Park and gardens date largely from the late 18th century and are heavily influenced by the then popular “picturesque” style of landscape designer Humphry Repton. Also listed by English Heritage as being of national importance.
Later additions/alterations include a collection of notable trees and shrubs from the southern hemisphere, particularly New Zealand. A branch of the Carlyon family emigrated to NZ at the end of the 19th century and this connection aided the growing plant collection through the 20th century.
There is also a nationally important Camellia collection built up by Gillian Carlyon over 50 plus years.

Tregrehan is periodically also the venue for performances of open air theatre.

The Eden Project is close by and can be accessed on foot via the road through nearby Tregrehan Mills and then a footpath across adjoining fields.

A small history of the garden.

In a letter to Jovey Carlyon from  Gilbert Rogers a Cornish forester based in India at Dehra Dun, N.W.Provinces, dated 1st July 1894 –

My dear Carlyon,  It is so hot down here that I find it impossible to write decently.  I only came down from the hills yesterday… I am writing to tell you that I have sent you a box containing some seeds of Quercus semecarpifolia in charcoal … the acorns may have all germinated on the way as they germinate here almost as soon as they fall to the ground but I hope that some of them, if they have germinated, will reach you alive.  This species of oak covers the highest hills in Yarmsa  & grows at elevations above the spruce & mixed with the silver fir, so should do well with you.  It is very hardy grows very slowly & makes a fine tall straight stem if grown in close canopy….

This oak now stands proud at 25m height at Tregrehan.  Veteran trees, oak and sweet chestnut survive since the first half of the 1600’s in the Park.  Tregrehan garden is a woodland garden rich in exotic plants collected by enthusiasts from the early 19th century and continues today with Tom’s ongoing collection of unusual woody plants.  In spring the excessive colours of camellias, rhododendrons and magnolias shout across the 20 acre valley.   An extraordinary green-house (circa 1846) within the walled garden protects the more fragile species.

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