The Historic Development of the Gardens at Lanhydrock, Cornwall

by Jonathan Lovie

Part 1: The Development of the Gardens between the Medieval Period and the Early 19th Century

It is perhaps surprising that the historic evolution of the gardens which form the setting of Lanhydrock, one of the most visited of the National Trust’s properties in the South West, has received relatively little attention. Various aspects of the history of the gardens have been researched in detail, but this material has not been brought together to provide an overview of the site’s development. As part of the process of creating a conservation plan for the gardens at Lanhydrock, the National Trust required such an understanding of the gardens; this paper draws upon the research undertaken for that commission, together with important work undertaken by Paul Holden, House and Collections Manager at Lanhydrock,[1] Tommy Teagle the Head Gardener at Lanhydrock, and past and present members of property and regional staff.[2]

The archival material relating to Lanhydrock and the Clifden family is principally deposited at the Cornwall Record Office, Truro.[3] However, additional material remains at the house, and a large collection of historic images is kept at the National Trust’s Cornwall Regional Office. The archive is thus extensive and diverse, and it is important to emphasise that further material relevant to the understanding of the development of the gardens almost certainly remains to be discovered. This paper, therefore, should be seen as a preliminary attempt to reach an understanding of the way in which this nationally significant garden has changed over time, rather than as a definitive and final statement of its historic development.

Gardens pre-dating the construction of the present Lanhydrock House

Prior to the Reformation, the manor of Lanhydrock was a barton or small manor-farm belonging to the Priory of St Petroc, Bodmin. The barton house, which Paul Holden’s analysis of the architectural evolution of the house shows to have corresponded to the north range of the present house, was let to a succession of tenants, and little is definitely known about any gardens which may have been associated with it. In 1545, however, Thomas Glynn of Lanhydrock and Jane Clicker, the tenants in occupation, were evicted after allowing the house to fall into decay and stealing apples. This at least indicates that during the 16th century orchards formed part of the landscape there, and the economy of the estate, as they were to do until recent times.

Paul Holden’s architectural analysis of the house,[4] coupled with the obviously artificial levelling of the ground to the north of the house and east of the Church suggests that the approach to the front door of the barton (in the position of the present Garden Door) may have been through a garden enclosure on the site of the present formal gardens north of the house. No documentary evidence appears to survive to indicate the form or appearance of any garden at this period, but inferences may perhaps be drawn from other comparable Cornish sites: at Godolphin, admittedly an altogether grander establishment than 16th-century Lanhydrock, the combination of the formal Side Garden adjacent to the house and a wider setting of orchards may provide a model for what existed at Lanhydrock; or the formal garden enclosure at Trebartha illustrated in the Spoure Book (c.1690) may indicate the style of garden associated with a house such as Lanhydrock.[5] Whatever gardens existed at Lanhydrock prior to the construction of the present house, the lack of documentation and description suggests that they were on a small scale and simple; the important point, however, is that the area most likely to have been gardened during the medieval period remains part of the ornamental landscape today.

Gardens to accompany the reconstructed house

The Lanhydrock estate was purchased by Richard Robartes of Truro in 1620. Created Baron Robartes of Truro in 1625, reconstruction and expansion of the medieval barton to form a new country seat was an essential element of the family’s bid to establish themselves as one of the leading powers in Cornwall. Reconstruction of the house was completed by John, second Baron Robartes in 1651, and logically new gardens are likely to have been laid out to accompany this work in the period 1634 to 1651; however, documentary evidence is lacking with respect to what may have been achieved. What is clear, however, is that the new house was orientated towards the east, rather than the north as had been the case with the barton, presumably necessitating a revised landscape setting. Paul Holden has convincingly argued that this change of orientation for both house and garden was inspired by Robartes’ Puritan understanding of ‘spiritual geometry’;[6] and further emphasis was given to this symbolic axis by the planting of the sycamore avenue in the Park c.1648. Very little is known from documentary sources about the layout of the gardens at this period, although the elaboration of the gatehouse, completed in 1651, and Thomas Povey’s reference to crossing the inner court on a ‘marble pavement’ during a visit to Lanhydrock in 1669[7] hints at a high quality of workmanship and materials. At the same time, both Robartes’ Puritan sympathies and his prolonged absences from Lanhydrock, especially after the Restoration when he was successively appointed Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (1660) and Lord Privy Seal (1661),[8] suggest that the gardens would have been relatively simple and unostentatious in character.

The Lanhydrock Atlas: the first documentary evidence for the gardens

The survey of Lord Robartes’ estates completed by Joel Gascoyne in 1695 and known today as the Lanhydrock Atlas contains the first surviving detailed delineation of the area around the house. This most valuable source indicates that the setting of the house was divided into a series of enclosures lying to the east, north and north-west, with service areas concentrated to the south. The garden plan recorded by Gascoyne is relatively simple and conventional; indeed, by the end of the 17thcentury it would have appeared somewhat old-fashioned. In all probability the layout recorded in 1695 corresponds closely to that established at the time of the reconstruction of the house, and which itself incorporated the site of medieval gardens to the north and possibly north-west of the house.

Detail of Lanhydrock House and its immediate setting from the Lanhydrock Atlas, 1695

Detail of Lanhydrock House and its immediate setting from the Lanhydrock Atlas, 1695

Key [duplicate letters have been added to the various sections `for the sake of legibility] : A Lanhydrock House and Inner Court; B Flower Garden; C Bowling Green; D Pheasantry; E Kitchin [sic] Garden; F Peare [sic] Garden; G New Orchard; H Wilderness; I Outer Court, Stables, &c

The areas identified as the New Orchard (G) and the Wilderness (H) to the north of the track providing access to the un-emparked agricultural land west of the house are, however, likely to be additions to that mid 17th-century layout, perhaps dating from the 1680s.

By 1695, Lanhydrock had been inherited by John Robartes’ grandson, Charles, second Earl of Radnor.[9]The Earl had inherited the Wimpole estate from his father-in-law, Sir John Cutler, in 1693, and it was there that he indulged his enthusiasm for fashionable improvements. The extravagant gardens at Wimpole were probably laid out by the royal gardeners George London (d. 1714) and Henry Wise (1653-1738), with architectural embellishments by William Talman.[10] The detail of their layout recorded in a view of 1707 has been substantially corroborated by archaeology. The scene recorded by Knyff at Wimpole contrasts strongly to that recorded by Gascoyne at Lanhydrock  some ten years earlier, and depicted in a drawing (see over), now in the house, which is generally dated to the late 17th  or early 18th century.

Wimpole Hall, Cambridgeshire, 1707 engraving by J. Kip after L. Knyff showing the formal gardens laid out by the second Earl of Radnor

Wimpole Hall, Cambridgeshire, 1707 engraving by J. Kip after L. Knyff showing the formal gardens laid out by the second Earl of Radnor

The view appears to correspond closely to the delineation of the gardens in the Lanhydrock Atlas; however apparently anachronistic elements in the composition have led some experts to speculate that this is a 19th-century ‘antiquarian’ view or reconstruction which took the Atlas as its inspiration. In either case, the drawing does have the merit of giving visual realisation to the evidence of the Atlas plan, and gives a clear impression of how the enclosed entrance court, flower garden, bowling green and kitchen garden might have appeared at the end of the 17th century.

Lanhydrock House and gardens, c.1695

Lanhydrock House and gardens, c.1695

The over-riding conclusion is that by the beginning of the 18th century, the gardens at Lanhydrock were distinctly low-key and old fashioned. To some extent this can be explained by the prolonged absence of both the first and second Earls of Radnor from the estate, and the second Earl’s concentration on the improvement of Wimpole; however, in so far as the layout recorded in 1695 corresponds to that established by Lord Robartes when the house was reconstructed, it is likely that the old-fashioned character was a deliberate choice. Paul Holden has demonstrated that Lord Robartes’ building was in many respects old-fashioned for the mid-17th century, and has suggested that this was an attempt by the relatively parvenu Robartes family, with the origins of their wealth in the murky world of trade, to create the illusion of a respectable link to feudal antiquity;[11] if the design of the house was an exercise in antiquarian propaganda, so too was the garden which was conceived in a similarly antique style to correspond to the house.

Despite being forced to sell Wimpole for financial reasons in 1710, it seems that the second Earl spent much of his time at his house in fashionable St James’s Square, London. While he probably did spend more time atLanhydrock than had been the case while he owned Wimpole, there is no evidence that he made any improvements to the gardens and grounds.

The evidence of the 18th-century accounts and other sources

The second Earl of Radnor died in 1723 and was succeeded by his nephew. The third Earl, who died unmarried in Paris in 1741, is generally said to have spent most of his time abroad, and to have cared little for Lanhydrock. Certainly when John Loveday visited in 1736 he found the place in a state of decay:

The house itself is an old low Quadrangle, like some little College. The Gallery is a long and well-proportioned Room with a bowed fret-work Roof performed in a Gothic taste. The house is extremely out of repair and utterly destitute of furniture; we saw one family Picture.[12]

This dereliction is puzzling, however, when considered alongside the evidence of the surviving accounts in the Clifden archive at Truro, which show that during the period 1731-7 significant work was undertaken on the construction of a new garden and the remodelling and repair of existing garden features and structures.

In 1731 five payments are recorded to ‘Witts the Gardiner in p[art] of his contract for the Stoney Garden’.[13]  These payments, totalling more than £20,[14] appear to relate to the formation of a new garden, the location and exact purpose of which remain uncertain. Given the prevalence of fruit production at Lanhydrock, it has been plausibly suggested that the ‘Stoney Garden’ was a place for the cultivation of stone fruit.[15]

The identity of Witts the Gardener is similarly obscure. In 1734-5 he received payment of £1 15s 6d for pruning fruit trees in the garden and supplying fruit trees and mats. It seems he was not the gardener at Lanhydrock, for payments are recorded to ‘John Harris the Gardiner’, who died in 1734. Rather, it seems that Witts was a nurseryman or professional gardener who was brought in to provide specialist services at Lanhydrock.

Other work undertaken in the gardens during the 1730s included construction of new garden walls (1732-3); the construction of the ‘house near the churchyard’, perhaps the cottage in the present Higher Garden (1735);[16] payment for work on garden walls, the Bowling Green walls and excavating soil from the Bowling Green which was ‘cast over wall into the churchyard as per agreement’ (1736-7);[17] planting fruit trees against the new Bowling Green walls (1737);[18] and payments to ‘John Olliver the Plaisterer’ for repairing the ‘Bath House &c’ (November 1737).[19]

These early 18th-century accounts indicate that a concerted programme of new construction and repair of existing garden features was undertaken at Lanhydrock during the 1730s, prior to the third Earl’s death in 1741. The purpose of this campaign of works is unclear, but the accounts demonstrate that despite the dereliction of the house witnessed by John Loveday in 1736, money was still being expended on the gardens. The accounts also reveal a strong emphasis on the production of fruit in the gardens, suggesting that they remained somewhat old-fashioned and utilitarian in character during the early 18th century.

Mid 19th-century decline and neglect

Following the death of the third Earl of Radnor in 1741, Lanhydrock was inherited by his niece, Mary Vere Robartes, who was married to Thomas Hunt of Great Mollington, Cheshire. During the 17 years that Mary Hunt owned the Estate, it seems she rarely, if ever visited. The house was seldom occupied by members of the family and business was managed by agents. Despite this lack of proprietorial interest, the accounts reveal that a gardener continued to be retained at Lanhydrock, and routine maintenance was undertaken. For example, in 1746 13 sycamore trees were planted ‘in the Walk in Lanhydrock Park’ at 4d each; and three hundred asparagus plants were planted in the garden at a cost of £0 7s 6d. The following year, 1747, the garden gate was repaired after being blown down in a storm; and in 1752 payments were made for purchasing and transporting fruit trees from Plymouth, and for ‘rooting’, pruning and planting apple trees in the garden. In 1758, the year of Mary Hunt’s death, Roger Fearn spent 17 days ‘cutting fruit trees at Lanhydrock’ at a cost of £1 14s 0d, and 34 days ‘cutting Trees and other work’ costing £3 19s 4d. At best the accounts suggest that the gardens were ‘ticking over’, with substantial quantities of fruit and other produce being grown, perhaps for consumption elsewhere.

William Borlase, 'South East front of Lanhidroc June 25 1756'

William Borlase, ‘South East front of Lanhidroc June 25 1756’

Certainly Mary Hunt can have felt little familial affection for Lanhydrock: in 1750 she considered demolishing the house in order to realise £1,500 from the resulting building materials and salvage.[20] Six years later William Borlase visited and recorded:

… but one picture in the house of the first Earl Radnor and that a bad one Everything in and about the house in a state of neglect and decay.[21]

The external ‘neglect and decay’ is evident in a drawing of Lanhydrock from the north-east made by Borlase on the occasion of this visit.[22]  This suggests that by 1756 the internal divisions between the forecourt and the Flower Garden, and the Flower Garden and the Bowling Green which existed to the east, north and north-east of the house in 1695 had been removed in order to create a single enclosed area to the east and north of the house. It is of course unclear to what extent Borlase’s view exercises artistic licence in order to concentrate attention on the antiquarian interest of the house; but the impression that the garden was of so little account as not to merit recording is probably accurate and accords with the general impression derived from the contemporary Estate accounts.

The gardens in the second half of the 18th century: revival

When George Hunt, Mary Hunt’s elder son, succeeded to the Lanhydrock Estate in 1758, it was clearly in a parlous condition. Interestingly, George Hunt decided to make Lanhydrock his principal residence,[23] thus bringing to an end some 75 years when the Estate had been in the hands of an absentee owner and the property had been allowed to fall into decline and decay.

The necessary refurbishment of the neglected house appears to have been accompanied by significant changes to its designed setting; the two projects apparently forming part of a greater aesthetic programme for the Estate encompassing house, gardens and park. No detailed accounts for the period seem to survive, but it is possible to piece together the nature of George Hunt’s work from secondary sources.

In about 1780 Hunt ordered the demolition of the east range of the 17th-century house. At the same time, the walls enclosing the 17th-century gardens to the east and north of the house (which had been recorded by Borlase as recently as 1756) were removed, leaving the gatehouse as an isolated folly or pavilion and allowing the park to sweep up towards the house. This major change opened the house to its wider landscape setting, allowing views both out across the park, and, perhaps more significantly, views in towards the porch and front door. The changes prompted mixed responses: C S Gilbert, writing in 1817, commented:

The southern wing [sic] was taken down some years ago, by order of George Hunt, esq. which has let in a pleasing and extensive view to the present buildings;[24]

however, by 1838 the more antiquarian-minded Davies Gilbert appears more ambivalent about the ‘improvements’:

The editor remembers the house, a complete square, with a superb barbican in front, united to the house, or rather castle, by two lofty walls. These walls were first taken down, and then the front, by Mr George Hunt, which he replaced by green palisades.[25]

The east range of the house was replaced by a low wall surmounted by metal railings with centrally placed gates supported by 17th-century obelisk piers. This wall linked the north and south ranges, thus forming an open courtyard at the centre of the house; by the early 19th century this was being cultivated as a flower garden and shrubbery, but there is no evidence for its treatment under George Hunt. It seems likely that having lost the enclosure to the east and north of the house, shrubbery walks were developed to the north, and in the present Ladies’ Walk overlooking the park.

There is no evidence to suggest which professional designer, if any, assisted George Hunt in his landscape works at Lanhydrock. The aesthetic character of what he sought to achieve can, however, be broadly characterised as ‘Brownian’: an apparently naturalistic park landscape physically and visually connected to the house which forms its focal point, in the style popularised by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown (1716-83). George Hunt’s classical inclinations find confirmation in Davies Gilbert’s somewhat unflattering portrait, written some years after Hunt’s death and with the benefit of the ‘improved taste’ of the subsequent generation:

This gentleman [George Hunt] had the reputation of being a classical scholar, and he travelled into the south of Europe, where Taste once fixed her abode, and where she still lingers or loves often to return; but according to all the opinions now entertained, he never met her in his walks, nor profited by the contemplation of her works. Perhaps in his youth the prejudice had not disappeared which confined all the elegance and beauty of architecture to upright pillars and horizontal cornices, and esteemed the word Gothic as of the same import with barbarous, and inviting destruction wherever it was applied.[26]

According to Davies Gilbert, George Hunt remained enthralled to classicism and immune to the interest of Gothic and the Picturesque; this was hardly surprising given that Hunt was born c.1720 and was already a man of mature years when he inherited Lanhydrock in 1758. His work at Lanhydrock arguably secured the survival of the house and landscape, his particular achievements being the development of the park landscape and the revival of the house as a family seat.

Travelling through Cornwall in 1798, the Revd William Gilpin, high priest of the Picturesque, passed close by Lanhydrock. Having been told that the remainder of Cornwall resembled Bodmin Moor, over which he had just passed, Gilpin abandoned plans to go to Land’s End and instead diverted to Plymouth via Respryn and Liskeard. He did not visit Lanhydrock, but does seem to have noticed George Hunt’s new parkland plantations and their contribution to the landscape of the Fowey valley:

This dreariness, however, had begun to improve before we arrived at Lescard [sic]. Plantations, though meagre only, arose in various parts; and the county assumed a more pleasing air; particularly on the right towards Lostwithiel. The high grounds formed intersections; something like a castle [Restormel] appeared on one of them, and the woody decorations of the landscape in some degree took place.[27]

Regency Lanhydrock

The process of rehabilitation and improvement begun under George Hunt was continued by his niece, Anna Maria Hunt, who succeeded to the Estate in 1798 and managed it on behalf of her son, Thomas Agar, who came of age in 1829. Estate accounts for the early 19th century show that even though Anna Maria only visited Lanhydrock during the summer, money was expended both on the continued improvement of the house, and the development of the gardens, pleasure grounds and park to make them more fitting for the times and style of living, and, perhaps, for a female owner.

During the 1820s, substantial payments were made to the nurseryman John Rundle or Randle of St Austell, but detail of what was being acquired is lacking. Other nurserymen[28] who were supplying material to Lanhydrock in the 1820s included Thomas Please and William Ford of Exeter,[29]Jonathan Couch of Polperro,[30] and, almost certainly, John Pontey of Plymouth.[31] It is noticeable that while Lanhydrock was obtaining plants from as far afield as Exeter and Plymouth, unlike other contemporary but more horticulturally minded owners such as Sir William Molesworth at Pencarrow, Bodmin, Anna Maria Hunt was not turning to leading London nurseries to supply plants for her gardens and shrubberies.

During the early 1820s a programme of work was undertaken which initiated the transformation of the former kitchen garden into a new Flower Garden, and which helped to shape the future development of the grounds at Lanhydrock to the present. Payments in the Estate accounts show that in 1823 improvements were made to the ‘Garden House’, probably the thatched cottage which survives in the present Higher Garden, and which was occupied by the Head Gardener until the early 1840s. In 1823-4 payments record the construction of the ‘Ha-Ha Ditch’ which forms the eastern boundary of the Flower Garden (today’s Higher Garden), and the stone walls enclosing its northern and western boundaries. A payment of £1 10s 10d to John Pontey for ‘Green-house plants’ in 1827 indicates that by this date a greenhouse or conservatory existed at Lanhydrock. Further payments in 1831 for the construction of 570 yards of walk suggest that major changes were being undertaken in the grounds.

The principal change made in the early 19th century was the conversion of what, in 1695, had been the kitchen garden north-west of the house into a fashionable Flower Garden. This process begs the question of where productive gardening was undertaken between the early 1820s and the construction of a new kitchen garden in 1841. It is possible that the process of transforming the old kitchen garden to ornamental use was gradual, and, as is known from other examples, vegetables and fruit may have been integrated into the new ornamental scheme.[32]

Neither the Ordnance Survey Surveyor’s Drawing (1805), nor the first edition 1-inch Ordnance Survey (published 1813) is sufficiently detailed to provide any evidence for the internal layout of the new Flower Garden. Stylistically it is likely that the existing path pattern reflects that established in the early 19th century, with the Garden Cottage, ‘Holy Well’ and greenhouse or conservatory which formerly stood on the terrace below the ‘Tithe Barn’ (itself a picturesque 19th-century confection) being developed as picturesque elements within the garden scheme.

The first detailed plan to record the Flower Garden, but regrettably not its internal layout, is the Tithe map for the parish of Lanhydrock (1841). Despite failing to provide confirmation of the internal layout of the Flower Garden, the Tithe map indicates that areas of shrubbery had been developed during the late 18th or early 19th century to the north of the Flower Garden, encircling the Estate yard (occupying the site of the 17th-century ‘Peare Garden’) and presumably concealing it from view, and on the slope to the south of the house. On the basis of pictorial evidence, it seems likely that the southern shrubbery linked to the area of Great Wood today known as the Ladies’ Walk, which clearly originated as a shrubbery walk affording picturesquely framed views across the improved parkland. The Tithe map also confirms Davies Gilbert’s description of the lawn between the house and the gatehouse being enclosed by a timber fence;[33] this too is recorded in pictorial sources, such as Charlotte Treherne’s charmingly naive watercolour view of 1833, now in the National Library of Wales. This view also shows the way in which the Inner Court had been developed during the early 19th century as a shrubbery and flower garden, with groups of ornamental shrubs arranged at its corners, and a central circular lawn, corresponding to the lawn which survives today, planted with a central shrubbery and herbaceous bed arranged or ‘ranked’ by height.

Fig 5: Tithe map for the Parish of Lanhydrock, 1841: detail showing the area around the house

Fig 5: Tithe map for the Parish of Lanhydrock, 1841: detail showing the area around the house

Key: 1 church and churchyard;
2 Old Nursery, Shrubbery, Farmyard
[also Lanhydrock House, Inner Court and Stables];
3 Flower Garden

 Charlotte Treherne, watercolour view looking east from the house across the Inner Court towards the gatehouse, 1833

Charlotte Treherne, watercolour view looking east from the house across the Inner Court towards the gatehouse, 1833

J W Stockdale, engraved view of the east front of Lanhydrock, c 1827

J W Stockdale, engraved view of the east front of Lanhydrock, c 1827

The fenced lawn between the house and the gatehouse, so clearly depicted by Charlotte Treherne, appears somewhat incongruous, but was perhaps intended to give greater visual prominence to the architecture of the gatehouse, and provide a transition to the parkland beyond. Interestingly, J.W. Stockdale’s slightly earlier view of the east front of the house, produced c.1827, omits this feature, presumably in the interests of producing a more aesthetically pleasing composition. He does, however, indicate ornamental shrubbery planting to the south-east of the house, enclosed from the park by timber paling; this corresponds to the present Ladies’ Walk. Further shrubbery and conifers are indicated to the north of the house. While the ‘evidence’ of Stockdale’s image should perhaps be treated with some caution, particularly with regard to its detail, its overall aesthetic intent, to heighten the antiquarian and picturesque interest of Lanhydrock, is clear. In this Stockdale was by no means alone. In the early 19th century Lanhydrock and its setting became increasingly noted for both these prized qualities. In 1831 John Britton noted that the ‘vale of Lanhydrock is peculiarly picturesque’;[34] and other writers commented that the sycamore avenue was both picturesque and appropriately venerable.[35] While most interest concentrated on the house, some more perceptive authors saw that the grounds, both designed and ‘natural’, made an important contribution to the aesthetic success of the whole:

The situation of Lanhydrock House, and the whole of the grounds, is extremely fine, and commands most interesting views over a large and varied district … These distant prospects however, are not absolutely wanted at Lanhydrock, to charm the eye, as it presents within its natural boundaries, all the rural beauties with which Nature can abound; and the hand of man has not been inactive, in advancing them to perfection. The walks and plantations in particular, are extremely beautiful, and the whole forms one of the finest aged habitations, that can be presented to the imagination of the antiquarian and naturalist …[36]

In seeking to heighten the antiquarian and picturesque appeal of Lanhydrock, while at the same time preserving its amenity as a family home, Anna Maria Hunt was unconsciously setting Lanhydrock on a course which was to shape the development of its gardens up to the present time. These later developments will be the subject of a paper in the 2012 Journal â–

Jonathan Lovie is a garden and landscape historian who practices as a consultant advising private owners and public bodies such as the National Trust on the evolution and significance of the landscapes in their care, and the way in which this affects future management. He is also the part-time Principal Conservation Officer at The Garden History Society, and was formerly a consultant Register Inspector at English Heritage, responsible for the revision of the Register of Parks and Gardens in the South West.

Although Jonathan now lives in rural Devon, he has strong links to the Duchy, being descended from a long line of farmers in the St Austell area.

The cottage in the Higher Garden, retained as a picturesque 'incident' in the early 19th-century Flower Garden.

The cottage in the Higher Garden, retained as a picturesque ‘incident’ in the early 19th-century Flower Garden.


[1] P. Holden, ‘Situation, Contrivance, Receipt, Strength and Beauty: the building of Lanhydrock House 1620-51’, Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall (2005), pp.32-44

[2] Particular mention should be made of the extensive work undertaken by the late Michael Trinick, formerly Regional Director for Cornwall and author of the Trust’s first guidebook to Lanhydrock; and Jeremy Pearson, formerly Historic Buildings Representative in Cornwall.

[3] Cornwall Record Office, Truro (CRO): DD/CL

[4] Holden (2005)

[5] Reproduced in D.E. Pett, The Parks and Gardens of Cornwall (1998), p.210 fig. 87

[6] Holden (2005), p.41; such views were expounded by writers such as Thomas Fuller, a copy of whose The Holy State (1642) was in Robartes’ library.

[7] P. Holden, pers. comm. 2010; transcription of ‘Copy of Manuscript in the Library at Lanhydrock, Cornwall, Descriptive of the Journey of Thomas Povey, Treasurer to the Duke of York, into Devon and Cornwall 1673’. The ‘inner court’ has been open to the east since the removal of the east range of the house in the late 18th century.

[8] During his period of office at Court, Lord Robartes rented Danvers House, Chelsea, noted by contemporaries as having one of the finest and earliest gardens laid out in England in the Italian style. This was completed prior to Lord Robartes’ tenancy, and there is no indication that it influenced any work he undertook at Lanhydrock. For Danvers House, see R. Strong, The Renaissance Garden in England (1979, edn of 1984), pp.176-7.

[9] John, second Baron Robartes, had been created Earl of Radnor in 1679. He was pre-deceased by his son, Viscount Bodmin, in 1682.

[11] Holden (2005)

[12] S. Markham, John Loveday of Caversham 1711-1789: The Life and Tours of an Eighteenth Century Onlooker (1982), p.229.

[13] CRO: DD/CL734/52

[14] It is unclear from the accounts that the recorded payments were the total sum expended on this work.

[15] Pers. comm. Ian Wright (National Trust Gardens Adviser), 2009; this interpretation was subsequently endorsed by Dr Brent Elliot, Archivist and Historian, The Royal Horticultural Society (pers. comm. 2009).

[16] CRO: DD/CL/734/55

[17] CRO: DD/CL/734/56

[18] CRO: DD/CL/734/57

[19] CRO: DD/CL/734/57. The location of the Bath House is unknown: it may have been a garden feature as was fashionable at this period; or it may have been located within the house or domestic offices.

[20] Uncatalogued letter from Mary Hunt to her son, George Hunt National Trust, Lanhydrock: quoted by Holden (2005), p.32

[21] William Borlase’s MS notebook [Devon RO: Z/19/16/1], quoted by Holden (2005), p.42 (my emphasis).

[22] Devon RO: Z/19/16/1. Borlase incorrectly captioned his drawing ‘South East front of Lanhidroc June 25 1756’. It in fact shows the house from the north-east.

[23]  George Hunt sold his Cheshire estates, including Great Mollington, to his younger brother, Thomas, in order to settle in Cornwall.

[24]  C.S. Gilbert, Historical and Topographical Survey of the County of Cornwall, II (ii) (1817), p.636.

[25]  D. Gilbert (ed.), The Parochial History of Cornwall, founded on the manuscript histories of Mr Hals and Mr Tonkin (1838), p.382.

[26]  D. Gilbert (ed.) (1838), p.382

[27] W. Gilpin, Observations on the Western Parts of England relative chiefly to Picturesque Beauty (2nd edn, 1808), p.198

[28] Others whose identity and place of trade has not been identified are: Mr Liddle, Mr Coombs (1815), Henry Drent, J. Seymor, Mr Nettle (1831-2), John Hodge (1834).

[29] William Ford (1760-1829) and Thomas Please, in business at St Thomas, Exeter, and later at Longbrook Street, Exeter.

[30] Jonathan Couch (1789-1870), physician and botanist, Fellow of the Linnaean Society (1824) and author of papers on potato disease published in the Report of the Cornwall Polytechnic Society, 1845, 1847, 1848.

[31] John Pontey (c.1763-1854), of the Plymouth Nursery, King Street, Plymouth. The accounts refer to ‘Mr Pond’, which is here interpreted as a reference to Pontey.

[32] Such a principle was adopted by the owner of a villa in Edgbaston, Birmingham, who wrote an account of his garden in 1828. See M.Hadfield (ed.), ‘Lime Grove, 1828’ in The Gardener’s Album (1954). Hadfield does not make clear that his published text is not the full description, the MS of which remains in the Birmingham Reference Library and Archive.

[33]  D. Gilbert (1838), p.382

[34]  J. Britton and E.W. Brayley, Cornwall Illustrated in a Series of Views (1831), p.44.

[35]  See C.S, Gilbert, Historical and Topographical Survey of the County of Cornwall, II (ii) (1817), p.637; F. Hutchins, The History of Cornwall, II (1824), p 399; J Britton and E W Brayley (1831), p.42.

[36]  C.S. Gilbert, II (ii), (1817), p.637