Catchfrench Manor, St. Germans, PL12 5BY
Tel: (01503) 240759
The Hidden Humphry Repton Garden
This garden which consists of 15 acres of woodland, 5 acres of paddocks and a further 5 acres of mature gardens around the Manor House had been much neglected is now being re-discovered by the new owners of Catchfrench Manor, John and Judy Wilks. Many features have already been excavated from overgrown bramble, dumped cars and unmanaged woodland. The ruin, the grotto and secret quarry garden are there to be enjoyed and a ten year plan is in progress to restore Humphry Repton's vision by clearing views, replanting woodland, re-establishing an ancient orchard and creating walks and rides through the woodland. The enchanting world which he envisaged will emerge again over the next few years to be enjoyed by gardeners and those who just enjoy a tranquil but exciting landscape.
There has been a family seat at Catchfrench since the 13th century but it was re-built in 1580 after a fire, by George Kekewich and re-modelled in 1716 as depicted in Repton's figures. The name has two explanations - one is that it originates from Cadge fryns which means The Chief or Prince's House. The other explanation is that it comes from the Norman Chasse Franche which is a description of an unenclosed hunting ground of forest or parkland.
Humphry Repton (1752-1818) was the leading landscape gardener of his time. His designs turned ordinary countryside into picturesque scenery, or, as at Catchfrench, enhanced an already appealing landscape, bringing out its beauties.
Repton worked mainly in the eastern counties of England. His commission at Catchfrench in 1792 was one of a small cluster in Cornwall.
The estate remained the property of the Glanville family until 1930, when it was sold and passed through several hands before being acquired in 1987 by the present owners who have undertaken a programme of restoration. But the property is now private and not open to the public.
Just south of the A38 between Liskeard and Saltash.
Liskeard Looe Saltash St. Germans