Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens are located in a small wooded valley on the outskirts of Penzance, overlooking the wonderful Mount’s Bay. Scattered amongst the trees and carefully cultivated plants are dozens of contemporary sculptures, designed to be intricately woven into the landscape around them.
The land that the gardens sits on was once part of the estate owned by the St Michael’s Mount monks. This was until 1295 when it was bought by a farmer, Michael De Tremenheere, who’s family cared for the land for the next 600 years. During the 15th century, land in the valley was partly used as a vineyard, along with areas used to grow strawberries.
It wasn’t until 1890, when the then owner Seymour Tremenheere, began planting different species of trees. This included holly, sweet chestnut, beech and oaks. Along with his planting, a carriageway was also built up the valley.
After the Tremenheere’s left the land, the Pearce family worked the land until 1997 when the main section of the valley was bought by Dr Neil Armstrong. Prior to his ownership, large sections had become unkept, with rhododendrons taking over some sections and brambles others.
Dotted throughout the valley are nineteen unique sculptures made by over twenty artists. These permanent works vary greatly, some blending effortlessly with the surrounding plant life, while others scream colour amongst the foliage.
The first planting in ernest was to add in wind shelter breaks, primarily using Pinus radiata, Quercus ilex and sundry native trees. Some of the earlier specimens have reached a height of 30 feet or more, having become completely established. The garden itself was mostly dictated by its unique landscaping, with the natural gradient of the hill requiring long sloping paths, allowing for sections to be compartmentalised.
The shape of the valley provides a microclimate that allows for all kinds of exotic plants to flourish, and while there is a real range of different trees, bushes and flowers, they all come together to produce a wonderful garden.
These private gardens are open from February through to the winter (check the actual dates on their website) and offer free parking and have a lovely little cafe.
Due to the nature of the valley, the majority of the paths are unsuitable for wheelchairs, mobility scooters or prams.
Dogs are welcome on leads.
Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens (2020). Available at: https://www.tremenheere.co.uk/ (Accessed: 10 February 2020).