Mount Edgcumbe Country Park
Mount Edgcumbe Country Park is one of four designated Country Parks in Cornwall. It is 885 acres (3.58 km2) situated on the Rame Peninsula, overlooking Plymouth Sound and the River Tamar. The Park has been famous since the 18th century, when the Edgcumbe family created formal gardens, temples, follies and woodlands around the Tudor House. Specimen trees such as Californian Redwood, stand against copses which shelter a herd of wild fallow deer. The South West Coast Path runs through the Park for nine miles (14 km) along the coastline.
The Park also contains the villages of Kingsand, Cawsand, as well as Mount Edgcumbe House itself. 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 Edgcumbe family in the 18th Century. The Formal Gardens include an Orangery, an Italian Garden, a French Garden, an English Garden and a Jubilee Garden, which opened in 2002, to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee. The Park and Formal Gardens are open all year round and admission is free. The Park and Gardens are jointly managed by Cornwall Council and Plymouth City Council.
Although the park covers a large area, the park has limited formal maintenance. This gives it a rough and ready rural feel in all except the formal gardens.
Features of the Park
- Barn Pool
A sheltered deep water basin anchorage used by the Vikings in 997. Offshore there is a shipwreck of the Catharina von Flensburg. On 27 December 1831, HMS Beagle set off from here on her second survey voyage, captained by Robert FitzRoy with Charles Darwin on board.
Originally a Lloyd's Signal Station, where signalling was done from passing ships to the station by flags during the day and by lights at night, it became a radio station in 1905, then transferred to the Coastguards c.1925.
- Cremyll Ferry
In 1515 Sir Piers Edgcumbe was given permission by King Henry VIII to empark deer: the deer of today roam freely on the Rame Peninsula.
- Deer Wall
c.1695 - A stone wall with outer ditch to protect the Amphitheatre from deer.
- Earl's Drive
- Formal Gardens
From circa 1750 to 1820 - gardens in Italian, English and French styles. New Zealand, American (1989) and Jubilee Gardens (2003) have now been added.
- Garden Battery
c.1747 and 1863 - an 18th-century saluting platform, originally mounted with 21 guns to greet visitors. Re-built in 1863 as part of Plymouth's Naval defences, with granite casemates for 7 large 68-pounder guns.
- Harbour View Seat
18th century - a much damaged ornamental seat also known as White Seat, with a magnificent view north up the River Tamar.
- Higher Deer House
19th century - in the Grotton Plantation the ruins of a two storey fodder store for deer; and the ruined 18th century Pebble Seat facing south.
From around 1800, this ice house is situated under the bridge leading to the House. It is only open on special occasions.
- Maker Church
First mentioned in 1186, it was enlarged in the 15th century. This is the family church of the Edgcumbes.
- Milton's Temple
A circular temple from 1755, with a plaque inscribed with lines from Paradise Lost; overhead up grew, insuperable heights of loftiest shade......
Situated in the Italian Garden the Orangery is thought to have been built as early as 1760. The building is now a fully licensed restaurant.
- Picklecombe Fort Seat
A seat made from a doorway and enclosing a small niche with a piscina at the back. The carved stone comes from the churches of St. George and St. Lawrence at Stonehouse.
- Queen Adelaide's Grotto
18th century cave used as a watch house, enhanced with an arched stone building after Adelaide's visit, 1827.
Rebuilt from a Norman church in 1239, and enlarged in the 15th century.
- Red Seat
19th century - a ruinous rest house, sometimes called the Kiosk, which was painted red. Below is another ruined seat known as Indian Cottage or The Verandah.
c.1850 - The stables, dairy, smithy, sawmill and stores, all essential to the running of the estate. The stables are not open to the public.
- St. Julian's Well
A very small 15th century chapel and holy well, which was restored c.1890.
This goes around the Country Park.
- West Lodge and Arch
The Arch may have been built to mark the creation of the Viscount in 1781.
The Zig-Zag walks were from the 1760s, and became famous in the 19th century as The Horrors. Intricate paths on a dramatic cliff, surrounded by exotic shrubs. The lower cliff paths and some stone seats have been lost to cliff erosion.
- Official Website
- Mount Edgcumbe photo gallery
- Old photos of Mount Edgcumbe
- Village Holiday Information
- Postcards of Mount Edgcumbe