Caerhays Castle Gardens

Caerhays Castle Gardens

Gorran, St. Austell, PL26 6LY
Tel: (01872) 501310


An enchanted garden

Nestled in a secluded valley above Porthluney Cove on the South Coast between Truro and St. Austell, overlooking the sea and extending to over 140 acres, the gardens at Caerhays Castle are one of Britain's horticultural treasure troves.

In the middle ages the manor belonged to the Arundell family. The earliest recorded mention of the name occurs in 1259 when it was referred to Karihaes. The estate passed by marriage to the Trevanion family after the marriage of Robert Trevanion to Johanna Arundell. The Trevanion family had owned the land since 1390. The house itself was built for John Bettesworth Trevanion, who at the age of 21, inherited the estate in 1801. John Nash, a fashionable architect of the day, was employed to create the mansion in 1806. Profligate living plus the costs of building the mansion ruined the family, and in 1840 the family were so heavily in debt that they fled to Paris, where John Trevanion died. The church of St. Michael on the estate dates back to Norman times.

Caerhays Castle was thus abandoned for thirteen years. Eventually in 1853 it was purchased by a Cornish Member of Parliament, Michael Williams, who restored the property.

The owners of Caerhays have stayed the the Williams family since.

Michael Williams & John Michael Williams (1853 – 1880)
John Charles Williams (1861 – 1939)
Charles Williams MP (1939 – 1955)
Francis Julian Williams (1938 - 2019)
Charles Henry Williams (2019 -)

Historic Caerhays is one of Cornwall's Great Gardens - a springtime paradise of glorious Camellias, Rhododendrons and Magnolias towering above carpets of delicate Narcissi and Primroses.

The estate is one of the oldest in the country and the gardens have been created by the Williams family - who sponsored Chinese plant hunters at the turn of the 20th century and have built up a truly outstanding plant collection. Today it is the home of a Plant Heritage National Collection of Magnolias containing over 600 species and named hybrids from around the world. The gardens first opened to the public in 1991.

Choose between four woodland walks through one of the finest displays of spring flowers in Britain. Guided tours of the house are available for a limited period.

The castle was used as the setting for Manderley in the TV production of Daphne du Maurier's novel 'Rebecca'.

Filming for "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" took place, over three months, on the estate and at Porthluney Cove in 2015.

Caerhays also features in the later Poldark novels, where Ross and Demelza Poldark's son Jeremy meets a love interest at Caerhays. The novels stress both the magnificence of the castle, and the ruinous cost to the Trevanions of rebuilding it.

There is a large car park and a cafe close to the beach.


Three miles south-west of Mevagissey on the Roseland Peninsula.

Opening Times

Mid March to Mid June
10.00am - 5.30pm

Admission Charged

Cornish Castles       Gorran Haven       Mevagissey     Portscatho       Portloe       Portholland

Cornwall's History       The Coastal Footpath       The Roseland Peninsula       Dodman Point