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Cotehele and its Italian Garden terraces
Courtyard of Cotehele House
Dried flowers at Cotehele

Cotehele, (Cornish: Kosheyl)[1] (grid reference SX422685), is a mediaeval house with Tudor additions, situated in the parish of Calstock, in the east of Cornwall, England. It is a rambling granite and slate-stone manor house on the banks of the River Tamar that has been little changed over five centuries.


Probably originating circa 1300, the main phases of building appear to have been started by Sir Richard Edgcumbe from 1485–89 and followed by his son, Sir Piers Edgcumbe, from 1489-1520.[1] This house is one of the least altered of the Tudor houses in the United Kingdom. The outbuildings include a stone dovecote in a remarkable state of preservation.[2] For centuries a home of the Edgcumbe family, it was the first property to be accepted by the Treasury in payment of death duty. The house and estate are now under the care of the National Trust.[3]

The site[edit]

The house is a Grade I listed building, having been so designated on 21 July, 1951. The house was probably founded around 1300 and various alterations were made in the early fifteenth century. Sir Richard Edgcumbe seems to have been involved in the first phase of development from 1486 to 1489, with his son Sir Piers Edgcumbe taking over for the second phase, from 1485 to 1489.[4]

The grounds stretch down to a quay on the River Tamar where there is an outpost of the National Maritime Museum. There are a number of formal gardens and a richly planted area in the valley; features include a medieval dovecote, a stewpond, a Victorian summerhouse and an eighteenth century tower.[3] The gardens and parkland are listed as Grade II* on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England.[5]

Film location[edit]

Cotehele was used in the filming of Trevor Nunn's 1996 film adaptation of Twelfth Night. it was used for scenes taking place in the quayside tavern and the inside of Orsino's castle.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Place-names in the Standard Written Form (SWF) : List of place-names agreed by the MAGA Signage Panel. Cornish Language Partnership.
  2. ^ Pevsner, Nicholas (1970). The Buildings of England, Cornwall, 2nd ed. Penguin Books. 
  3. ^ a b "Cotehele Manor". 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2016. 
  4. ^ "Cotehele House, Calstock". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 13 August 2016. 
  5. ^ "Cotehele, Tavistock, England". Parks and Gardens UK. Retrieved 13 August 2016. 
  6. ^ "Twelfth Night". Locations around Cornwall (and the Isles of Scilly) that have been used in the making of films. Visiting Cornwall. Retrieved 13 August 2016. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°29′45″N 4°13′33″W / 50.4959°N 4.2257°W / 50.4959; -4.2257