England · Europe

The Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall – United Kingdom

Listening to and viewing nature has always soothed me.   I stumbled across this  video of deer on the website for the Lost Gardens of Heligan.  Adorable.  I also found the birdsong to be so relaxing that I played it repeatedly on my laptop.

http://heligan.com/site/birdsong/

The Lost Gardens of Heligan are located in Cornwall, England.  Whenever I think of Cornwall, I think of the British television series,  Doc Martin, which is filmed along its coast.  The scenery in this area is gorgeous.

cornwall-map

These gardens are located near Mevagissey which is almost directly above where I am typing.  Just look to the right of Truro, which is in the middle of the map.  Cornwall is definitely a place that I  have wanted to visit in England and  I’m so glad that I just learned about these gardens! Here are several interesting pictures:

heligan
Sleeping goddess

giant-head

poppies
Heligan poppies

Here’s a brief background:   Heligan has been the seat of the Tremayne family for over 400 years, since around the year 1569.  The development of the gardens occurred between 1766 – 1914. However, the gardens were lost to decay shortly after the outbreak of World War I when many of the Heligan gardeners went off to fight in the trenches, never to return.

heligan-gardeners
Heligan Estate staff around 1900

The good news is that unlike many English estates, Heligan was never sold off or developed.  It was only in the 1970’s that the Heligan House itself was sold and split into private apartments. In 1990, Tim Smit and John Willis(a Tremayne descendant) discovered  a tiny room buried under fallen masonry in one of the walled , derelict gardens.   Inside this room on a limestone wall, they discovered a motto from August 1914  written in barely legible pencil with the signatures scrawled underneath of all who worked there.  This discovery sparked their imaginations and led them to revive these once magnificent gardens, showcasing the talents of the ordinary people who had once made them great.

In 2003, Heligan was voted only 2nd in line to the Kew Gardens located in southwest London. By 2015, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall made a private visit to Heligan.

prince-charles
Prince Charles crossing the 100′ rope bridge over the Jungle at the Lost Gardens of Heligan

With such a fascinating history, I can’t wait to see this place!  It always comes down to the vision of man to make things happen.

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