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Author Topic: A visit to Cotehele House  (Read 7162 times)

David Nicholson

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A visit to Cotehele House
« on: March 14, 2007, 08:05:03 PM »
One of the benefits of being retired is being able, at the drop of a hat, to enjoy a beautiful day by going out somewhere. Having said that we always make a point of going somewhere together on a Wednesday (the Nicholsons are creatures of habit!). Today we visited Cotehele House and gardens in Cornwall (just!) and thought that those members overseas, and others who haven't seen Devon and Cornwall, might like to see a little bit of it. So here goes and I hope I don't bore everyone. By the way, the reason we went today was to see the annual Daffodil Festival only to find (thanks to another example of Nicholson "planning slip" that the festival is in two weeks time!

Cotehele was one of the Estates of  the Earl of Mount Edgcumbe (he had another estate not to far away as well!) which in 1947 was handed to the National Trust to avoid Death Duties, and was the first estate to be handed over in this way. The River Tamar is the boundary between the Counties of Devon and Cornwall and Cotehele stands high on the side of the valley of the Tamar on the Cornwall bank. It is surrounded by small market gardens growing fruit and vegetables but in the days before the Second World War the area was famous for growing very early cherries, strawberries, and loads and loads of Daffodils. The growers made use of the River Tamar to ship their produce upstream to Bere Alston wher there was a rail link via Plymouth to the lucrative London markets. During the war most of the daffodil fields were utilised for food production and in clearing the fields of bulbs some were just chucked over the hedge and the hedgerows and verges are full of daffodils many of which are said to be rare. It would have been nice to get some pictures of these but the lanes in the vicinity are single track and the locals do not take kindly to "Grockles", their term for tourists, blocking their roads.

But, to pictures:-
 the first: shows the front of the House with Maureen, my wife, just in view having spotted the sign that sais "Refreshments"

the second: the rear of the house and back garden

the third: more back garden

the fourth: Daffs and anemones in the grounds

the fifth: more Daffs in the Grounds

the sixth: an Iris with no name attached

the seventh: a shrub with a nick name of "Lobsters Claw", I did write down the real name of it, which begins with C but lost the bit of paper!!

 
David Nicholson
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David Nicholson

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Re: A visit to Cotehele House
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2007, 08:11:49 PM »
More pictures:-

the first: Magnolia

the second: a remaining Daffodil Farm

the third: more of the Daffodil Farm

the fourth: Another bit of I K Brunel (he designed the viaduct) looking up river on the Cornwall bank

the fifth: Down river to Plymouth-eventually

the sixth: up river to the station for the daffs

the seventh: over looking Devon
David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b
"Victims of satire who are overly defensive, who cry "foul" or just winge to high heaven, might take pause and consider what exactly it is that leaves them so sensitive, when they were happy with satire when they were on the side dishing it out"

David Nicholson

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Re: A visit to Cotehele House
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2007, 08:13:49 PM »
Oops, missed on out, and I promise, this is the lot. More of the Daff Farm

David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b
"Victims of satire who are overly defensive, who cry "foul" or just winge to high heaven, might take pause and consider what exactly it is that leaves them so sensitive, when they were happy with satire when they were on the side dishing it out"

Lesley Cox

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Re: A visit to Cotehele House
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2007, 01:29:16 AM »
Thanks David, for sharing a really pleasant day out, somewhere quite new to me. I've had a brief look at most parts of the British Isles but not Devon or Cornwall.

The Lobster's Claw looks like our native kaka (large parrot) beak, Clianthus puniceus, though it looks a bit flattish and sparse, rather than the usual upright vase shape.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

KentGardener

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Re: A visit to Cotehele House
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2007, 05:05:50 AM »
Hi David

thank you very much for taking the time to write about Cotehele.  I do enjoy these virtual tourist spots in the forum and have added Cotehele to my ever growing list of places to visit.  I wasn't aware that we were commercially growing daff bulbs in the UK.

It is good to know where the refreshments are in advance too!  Was the cake any good?

kind regards

John
John

John passed away in 2017 - his posts remain here in tribute to his friendship and contribution to the forum.

Luc Gilgemyn

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Re: A visit to Cotehele House
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2007, 07:53:29 AM »
Thanks for this little trip David - I hope to spend some time in the South West in a not to distant future and this is certainly inspiring.
 ;)
Luc Gilgemyn
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Lesley Cox

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Re: A visit to Cotehele House
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2007, 08:46:59 AM »
Why this obsession with cake? Surely that's nothing to do with me? Oh well, there is a wonerfully rich and whisky-scented fruit cake in the oven as we speak, but - confession time again - Roger made this one.

Talking of scented, it's well known that bulbs of Fritillaria imperialis smell like foxes (so I've read, I've never smelt a fox). So imagine what 100 foxes smell like in the warm, in the back seat of my car, as I drove home from a meeting in town tonight. 
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

David Nicholson

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Re: A visit to Cotehele House
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2007, 09:20:57 AM »
Lesley- you got it! It was Clianthus puniceus.

John- there has been commercial daff growing for the flower market for many years throughout Cornwall and the Scilly Isles, and to support that a lot of breeding work. Cotehele provided the best bowl of carrot and lentil soup I have had in many a year, and Lesley, some pretty good lemon drizzle cake.
Note from Maggi: Soup and cake: excellent facilities!

Glad you all enjoyed the "ramble"
« Last Edit: March 15, 2007, 12:28:42 PM by Maggi Young »
David Nicholson
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Casalima

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Re: A visit to Cotehele House
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2007, 09:53:10 AM »
David,

Thank you so much for the photographs! Beautiful house and gardens! A good candidate for my April trip, I think.

ChloŽ
in Portugal where Spring has already arrived with a bang!
Chloe, Ponte de Lima, North Portugal, zone 9+

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Re: A visit to Cotehele House
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2007, 11:34:20 AM »
It looks wonderful - thanks for posting.
Gal-Ann-thophile! from Newcastle in North East England

David Nicholson

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Re: A visit to Cotehele House
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2007, 07:17:46 PM »
Chloe, although I have lived in Devon for 20 years now this was my first visit to Cotehele House. The grounds are a magnificent sight in the Spring with the daffs, crocus and anemones but once they are past their best there will not be lot to see in the grounds until the perennials come out. Some of the Camellias are now going over and there are few Rhododendrons. April may be a little early for the apple tree blossom. But, having said that it is a place worth seeing for the surrounding scenery alone.

Cornwall has quite a few gardens worth seeing but many of them specialise in Camellia and Rhododendron, and the same goes for Devon too. As far as alpines are concerned Devon and Cornwall are a bit of a desert.
David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b
"Victims of satire who are overly defensive, who cry "foul" or just winge to high heaven, might take pause and consider what exactly it is that leaves them so sensitive, when they were happy with satire when they were on the side dishing it out"

Lesley Cox

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Re: A visit to Cotehele House
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2007, 09:40:06 PM »
David, your second lot of pics didn't come up for me yesterday, but were fine this morning, so it's another lovely episode, in effect. Devon must be a beautiful county so don't be surprised if, one day, I drop in for a cuppa (with cake of course).

What I specially enjoyed, were the pics of the daffodils. They reminded me vividly of those delightful books of Derek Tangye, "A Cat in the Window," "A Donkey in the Meadow," "Sun on the Lintel" and others. I have them all and re-read them every 2 or 3 years. They're very refreshing with none of the interminable sex, violence and filthy language that is in just about every book one opens or TV programme one watches. Just decent people doing honest and enjoyable things. So thank you again for sharing your lovely day out.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

David Nicholson

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Re: A visit to Cotehele House
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2007, 09:34:46 AM »
David, your second lot of pics didn't come up for me yesterday, but were fine this morning, so it's another lovely episode, in effect. Devon must be a beautiful county so don't be surprised if, one day, I drop in for a cuppa (with cake of course).

Lesley, you would be very welcome, that also goes for any other South Western UK bound Forumists.
David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b
"Victims of satire who are overly defensive, who cry "foul" or just winge to high heaven, might take pause and consider what exactly it is that leaves them so sensitive, when they were happy with satire when they were on the side dishing it out"

David Nicholson

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Re: A visit to Cotehele House
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2007, 11:06:33 AM »
Chloe, don't know how much time you will have in Devon?Cornwall but if you do have the time for anyone interested in plants a visit to the Eden Project is a must- see www.edenproject.com


It's about an hour and a half drive from the Ferry Port in Plymouth to St Austell in Cornwall. Enjoy.
David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b
"Victims of satire who are overly defensive, who cry "foul" or just winge to high heaven, might take pause and consider what exactly it is that leaves them so sensitive, when they were happy with satire when they were on the side dishing it out"

jomowi

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Re: A visit to Cotehele House
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2007, 07:28:34 PM »
John

To my knowledge there are at least 3 places in the UK where bulbs are grown commercially, apart from the Devon/Cornwall area, The fens in the Spalding area grows both Daffs and Tulips and probably others in very large numbers, and  here in the North East of Scotland where daffs both for bulbs and cut flowers are produced.

Brian WIlson

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Linlithgow, W. Lothian in Central Scotland

 


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