Heligan, seat of the Tremayne family for more than 400 years, is one of the most mysterious estates in England. At the end of the 19th century its thousand acres were at their zenith, but only a few years later bramble and ivy were already drawing a green veil over this “Sleeping Beauty”.
After decades of neglect, the devastating hurricane of 1990 should have consigned the Lost Gardens of Heligan to a footnote in history.
The discovery of a tiny room, buried under fallen masonry in the corner of one of the walled gardens, was to unlock the secret of their demise. A motto etched into the limestone walls, in barely legible pencil, still reads: “Don’t come here to sleep or slumber” with the signatures of those who worked there under the date – August 1914.
The Heligan team were a group fired by a magnificent obsession to bring these once glorious gardens back to life in every sense, and to tell, for the first time, not tales of lords and ladies, but of those “ordinary” people who had made these gardens great, before departing for the Great War.
The award-winning restoration is already internationally acclaimed, but the lease now extends into 200 acres of the Wider Estate, leaving the project far from complete.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan are well worth a visit and are close by to our hustyns resort, ask at reception for more details and directions.