Estray Park, Budock

On April 24th Robert Carslaw and Nick Gundry, the owners of Estray Park at Budock, greeted 30 members of the CGT on their sunny, generous terrace and told us the history of the house and garden.

Estray Park, so named as the bailiff of Kerrier, whose home it was originally, would round up and keep stray animals there.   The original house was relatively small, and has been extended by future owners into an interesting and homogenous house of great charm; it sits comfortably on a south facing rolling slope overlooking the 3 acre gardens, with pastoral views all around.

Until the mid 20th century the house and land, extending to about 17 acres had been used as a small holding, and it was only in the 1980’s that John and Jennifer Williams moved there from nearby Penwarne, extended the house and started creating a garden. So despite appearances and feel, the garden is no more than 30 years old the very beautiful old oak tree is virtually the only important feature remaining. The Williams planted extensively over about 20 years:   rhododendrons azaleas, eucalyptus, camellias, etc in great variety making a woodland garden in this sheltered and favourable shallow valley, bisected by a small stream.

Estray_Park-1 Estray_Park-31

When Robert and Nick bought the property some 10 years ago the mature garden had begun to need attention.  Hence the main thrust of their garden-making has been management, and this is very evident in the well-pruned camellias, the clear pond, the ‘tidy’ shrubs and trees and the beautifully mown lawns rolling down the terraces to the little stream and ponds.   They have also done some new planting, mainly round the house.   Several excellent wisterias were about to flower, giving colour and scent to the terrace area: above the house a large gravelled area has been cleared, and modern Mediterranean style planting with clipped bays and yews contrasts strongly with the essentially Cornish valley garden below.

We very much enjoyed our walk round the gardens in the sun which was rounded off with tea and cakes in the house. We are grateful to the owners for sharing their garden with us.

Lucie Nottingham & Elisabeth Walker