Morrab Gardens

Morrab Gardens

Morrab Road, Penzance, TR18 4DA
Tel: (01736) 336605


Lush sub-tropical garden

Morrab Gardens are a municipal garden covering three acres to the south of Penzance town centre. It is known for its Mediterranean and sub-tropical plants; and for housing the Morrab Library in the grounds.

Morrab House with its walled garden was built in 1841 for brewer Samuel Pidwell. The house is described as "...a large stucco villa in the Georgian manner with columned porch". Shortly after the Pidwell family moved to Portugal the property was purchased by Charles Campbell Ross banker, and Member of Parliament for the St. Ives Constituency.

On 16th July 1888 the house and walled gardens was bought by the Corporation of Penzance for £3,120 and tenders for the design of the garden was advertised nationally. The winning prize was £21, with ten guineas for second place plus two other prizes. Entrants came from all over the country with ten plans exhibited and four winners chosen. Reginald Upcher, a landscape gardener of Portland Place, London was commissioned, to develop the grassy fields sloping down to the sea, into a municipal park. Robert Vetch of Exeter came second. The original design is held in the County Record Office, Truro and the garden follows faithfully Upcher's plan. They opened on 27th September 1889 with a half day holiday and a procession through the streets.

In the same year the Penzance Library (now known as the Morrab Library) secured a lease as tenants and moved to Morrab House from the municipal buildings. The garden is now in the ownership of Cornwall Council and feature some Grade II Listed Buildings including a Victorian bandstand, fountain and Boer war memorial built in 1904 to commemorate those who gave their lives in the South African campaign and was fully restored in 2002.


Just behind the seafront at Penzance.

Opening Times

All Year

Admission Free

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