May 2018

Lurking in the depths of the Cornish countryside is Heligan, the seat of the Tremayne family.

With a history stretching back 400 years, Heligan is one of the most mysterious and romantic estates in England. Its history is woven into the local area, manifesting in a magical and real-life secret garden. Lost for decades, the Lost Gardens of Heligan now tell a story rich in colour and scent as well as playing a pivotal part in the village’s personal history.

At the end of the nineteenth century Heligan’s thousand acres were at its peak, blooming and evolving into established, mature gardens. Like most large houses of the time, Heligan employed much of the surrounding village to help run the place, including the beautiful gardens. The outbreak of the First World War saw the start of the estate’s demise as much of its workforce went off to fight in the trenches, many of whom never returned. The result was a home and garden which soon became veiled in brambles and ivy, its once vibrant soul overshadowed by war.

After falling into ruins and having survived a significant hurricane in 1990, the house was bought by new owners who sought to return the home and its gardens back to its former glory, paying homage to those who originally brought Heligan to life. The romance of Heligan has been painstakingly brought back to life and now blossom and blooms and tells a story of a bygone era and those who helped shape it. The gardens are not manicured but instead profile a rugged and charmed aesthetic which blends into the wild Cornish landscape. Tropical in places, there is a haunting quality to the grounds, making it an eerie yet poignant reminder of those who sacrificed their lives during the war.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan
Saint Austell
PL26 6EN
All photography via Pinterest