Pencarrow estate is located at the foot of a sweeping valley between Bodmin and Wadebridge in north Cornwall. The Georgian mansion and its extensive grounds make a great day out for families, nature lovers, green-fingered gardeners and history enthusiasts – and it’s dog-friendly too.
Today the descendants of the Molesworth family who settled at the Pencarrow estate in the 1500s still live in this historic family home. Take a tour of the mansion to experience a living piece of Cornish history.
Step inside to be transported back in time to a world of gleaming, ornate wood paneling, rococo ceilings, and lush stained glass. Admire the fine collection of art and antiques. From china and porcelain figurines to the Pencarrow Bowl, made by Chinese artisans, to an eclectic collection of glass pens made for the Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace in 1851. Artefacts from the family’s own history, including children’s toys, drawings and costumes, help to conjure up life as lived in a bygone age.
There’s plenty of green outside space for the dogs and children to let off steam too. With formal landscaped gardens and woodland walks, and a choice of shorter and longer walking loops, (some with wheelchair access). As you explore the grounds, keep your eyes peeled for all manner of treasures. From an Iron Age hillfort to England’s first Victorian rock garden, a sunken Italian garden to an ancient Cornish cross, and the grotto where it’s said many a clandestine meeting took place.
Visit in spring to see the woods and gardens carpeted in a haze of blue and white as the bluebells and wild garlic come in to flower. In summer, the Memorial Gardens are ablaze with blooms, while autumn provides a dazzling display of hydrangeas, fuschias and azaleas.
After working up an appetite in the gardens, round off the day with a Cornish cream tea in the Peacock Café on site, where there’s a children’s play area, complete with a Cornish slate Wendy house. You can pick up Cornish goodies, crafts or plants from the shop in the cobbled old carriage yard to take home a memento of your holiday.
Pencarrow House and Gardens is open from spring until autumn. Check the website for details and times for guided tours of the house, and plan your visit during your stay at Trevear.