Cremyll, Torpoint, PL10 1HZ
Tel: (01752) 822236
Huge Cornish estate
The Country Park
Created in 1971, the park covers over 800 acres and is owned by Cornwall County and Plymouth City Councils. It is one of Cornwall's Country Parks. Mount Edgcumbe has been famous since the 18th century for its landscape and gardens. Scattered throughout the Park are buildings - Thomson's Seat, Milton's Temple, the Folly, the Arch - consciously sited to create views and atmosphere. Individual trees and plantations are placed to enhance a magnificent setting above Plymouth Sound and the River Tamar. Woodlands contain specimen trees such as Californian Redwood and Stone pines, and provide shelter for the herd of wild fallow deer. The Coastal footpath runs along the shores of the Park from Cremyll to Whitsand Bay. Grassy lawns sweep down to attractive shingle beaches only a stroll away from the Cremyll Ferry.
Mount Edgcumbe House & Earl's Garden
Sir Piers Edgcumbe, acquired the estate through marriage in the 16th century. Sir Piers home was located ten miles away at Cotehele. Sir Piers built a deer park at Mount Edgcumbe in 1539. His son Richard Edgcumbe commissioned Roger Palmer, a local mason, to build a new house in his deer park, in 1547, and later moved the Edgcumbe family here. This was the first time in England a mansion had been built to take advantage of the wonderful situation and views rather than as a defensive house built around a courtyard. Miraculously the walls of his red stone Tudor House survived a direct hit by bombs in 1941 and it was restored by the Earl of Mount Edgcumbe between 1958 and 1964. It is now beautifully furnished with family possessions, including paintings by Sir Joshua Reynolds, Gerard Edema and William van der Velde, Irish bronze age horns, 16th century tapestries and 18th century Chinese and Plymouth porcelain. The Earl's Garden was created beside the House in the 18th century. Ancient and rare trees including a 400 year old lime, a splendid Lucombe oak, and a Mexican pine, are set amidst classical garden houses and an exotic Shell Seat. Colourful flowers and heather grace the re-created Victorian East Lawn terrace, which has spectacular views over Plymouth Sound. 865 acres of the grounds were sold to Cornwall County and Plymouth City Councils with the House leased back to the family in 1971. In 1987 the lease relinquished and work of refurbishment commenced, and the house was opened to the public on a regular basis in 1988. Mount Edgcumbe was in Devon until the Counties (Detached Parts) Act 1844 was enforced, when the parish of Maker was transferred from Devon to Cornwall.
The Formal Gardens
The formal gardens are grouped in the lower park near Cremyll. Originally a 17th century "wilderness" garden the present scheme was laid out by the 18th century. The Orangery housed fruit bearing orange trees which were taken out each summer into the Italian Garden with its mermaid fountain and classical statues. The French Garden overlooked by a conservatory is formally laid out with flower beds and box hedges. This contrasts with the English Garden with irregular lawns round the pretty English Garden House built in 1729. Here are unusual trees - cork oak, maidenhair, magnolias, and the "handkerchief" tree. The modern American and New Zealand gardens (with a geyser) reflect family connections. Since 1976 Mount Edgcumbe has also housed the National Camellia Collection. The gardens are protected on the exposed side by a great Ilex hedge which is 300 feet long, over 31 feet high, and took two men a fortnight to trim. At the base of the hedge is a Blockhouse dating back to the late 1500's. This Blockhouse saw most of its action during the Civil War when its three small guns were used against boats going into Plymouth.
For centuries artists have shown the House framed by its grand avenue. Many trees fell in the 1891 blizzard and in 1944 concrete roads were laid for the D-Day invasion tanks and Jeeps.
The Blockhouse and Battery
The Battery was once a saluting platform, its guns fired to greet visitors, before it was re-built as part of Plymouth's defences in 1863. The Blockhouse, a Tudor fort, saw action in the Civil War.
Built in 1760 to house orange trees from Constantinople, the Orangery was bombed in 1941 and the trees, some a century old, died. It is now a restaurant and cafe.
The Metta Catharina
During a storm in 1786 the Metta Catharina was dragged to her doom in Plymouth Sound. She lay undisturbed in the deeps off Mount Edgcumbe for 200 years before her remains were uncovered by amateur divers. The story of the shipwreck was reported in a newspaper of the time but was soon forgotten.
The multi-use trail for walkers and cyclists covers 865 acres of amazing coastal scenery and countryside views. The trail extends from the Lower Park gates at Cremyll along the park road (limited vehicle access), up the hard-surface woodland paths to reach the reinforced grass track which circles the Deer Park. It can be joined at any of the car parks which lie within or near to the Country Park. Families will find the Deer Park trail easy-going for push-chairs and tricycles - and ideal for young cyclists to practice their bike-riding! - while serious bikers may prefer the slopes and winding woodland sections. Along the way are information points where you can leave your bike and explore some of the Park's many footpaths - including the Landscape Trail which takes in Mount Edgcumbe House,the formal gardens, the beaches and cliffs.
Classic Car Show and Summer Fayre - Early August.
Christmas Fayre - Early December.
From A374 to B3247 via Millbrook.
There is also a passenger ferry to Plymouth. Nearby is the charming medieval village of St. John, and the sheet of tidal water known as St. John's Lake is recommended for bird-watching and its views.
April to October, Wednesday to Sunday
Antony House Antony Woodland Garden Cawsand & Kingsand Millbrook Rame Head
The Cornish Owl Centre Saltash Torpoint The Coastal Footpath
Walks and Walking in Cornwall Cycling in Cornwall Cornwall's Ferrys
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