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Godolphin House and Estate

Godolphin House and Estate By Gerry Labrijn

Godolphin House

Godolphin House and Estate

At the heart of an historic estate, owned by the National Trust since 2000, lies one of Cornwall’s most beautiful and romantic old houses. Godolphin is granite-built Tudor and Stuart house and garden set within an historic estate.

The Estate has more than 400 recorded archaeological features and mine ruins.

The house seen today is a remnant of a far larger building that was the home of the Godolphin family until the middle of the 18th century. The Godolphins, who made their wealth from the local tin-mining industry, were one of the leading families of west Cornwall.

The building reached its heyday In the mid-17th century and by 1689 Godolphin House contained around 100 rooms. In 1805 a considerable part of the building was pulled down, including the 16th century hall, and Godolphin became simply a farmhouse.

Godolphin was considered in the 17th century to be the most fashionable house in Cornwall. Centuries of benign neglect have given the house and garden and surrounding estate buildings an extraordinarily haunting air of antiquity and peace.

“Miraculously the garden has barely changed since the 14th and 16th centuries, with the latest fashions passing it by. It is so rare to discover a garden such as this, which has not been radically altered through the ages, and this is why it is considered to be one of the most important historic gardens in Europe.”

There are many fascinating walks on the estate, Godolphin is a distinct area within the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site.

Godolphin House has extensive farm buildings and the original Elizabethan stables. Remnants of the old formal gardens can be seen on the north and east sides of the house. Gardens include raised walks and carp ponds.   The National Trust in Cornwall is adopting a careful approach to raising funds and the restoration work and you can learn more by visiting the Godolphin House pages on the National Trust web site.

The trust runs events at many of its properties that range from bat watching to garden tours.

© Photograph of Godolphin House and Estate with kind permission of Gerry Labrijn Flckr