Scorrier House, Redruth

There was a good turn out for the visit to Scorrier House near Redruth, the first outing on this year’s programme on March 11th. Scorrier House was built in 1778 and since then has been inhabited by seven generations of the Williams family whose fortune was made from mining. The house stands proudly in its gardens originally set out by Elizabeth Williams and is surrounded by 450 acres of woodland and parkland.

We were welcomed by current owners, Richard and Caroline Williams and set off on a tour of the gardens led by Caroline. We started in the conservatory, bathed in spring sunshine and the perfume of the jasmine, then admired the swimming pool area secluded by hornbeam hedges and entered the sundial garden. Hard-pruned beech hedges formed a semi-circle around box parterres. Following the camellia walk we were led through ancient and mighty trees to the grotto but were out of season to enjoy the mass plantings of bluebells in the surrounding beds. The remains of a vast walled orchard could be seen, an area now home to a delightful family of Tamworth x with Cornish Black pigs. We were sorry not to see the magnolias in flower but could imagine the spectacle their vast size promised later. We enjoyed seeing some impressive trees including an Araucaria araucana (‘Monkey-Puzzle Tree’) probably associated with William Lobb who was responsible for the commercial introduction of this species into England from Chile and who had worked here at Scorrier House as a gardener sometime between 1838 and 1840.

After admiring two old Cornish crosses and a particularly tall Japanese umbrella tree, we were invited to take tea inside the house and were able to view the magnificent rooms now made available for events and weddings. Our thanks go to Richard and Caroline for such an enjoyable visit.

Report and photos by Jean Marcus
11th March 2010