Mount Edgcumbe

Mount Edgcumbe – perfect for relaxing, exploring and make new memories

A stunning place right on your doorstep, but just how much do you know about Mount Edgumbe?

Unique and much loved; it is a place of ancient barrows, mystical woodland, beautiful formal gardens, listed monuments, forts, chapels and holy wells dotted along a wild and remote coastline above secret beaches and smugglers’ coves.

Unique and much loved; it is a place of ancient barrows, mystical woodland, beautiful formal gardens, listed monuments, forts, chapels and holy wells dotted along a wild and remote coastline above secret beaches and smugglers’ coves.

Over the next five centuries the Edgcumbes built new roads and numerous fortifications; an extraordinary and ground breaking house (1547-1550); summer houses; an ice house; garden houses; seats; follies; stables; kennels; a dairy; a sawmill; a smithy; a wheelwrights workshop, estate workers houses and even a substantial gunpowder store.

The family were great collectors, entrepreneurs and sponsors of art.  The collection in the House is an understated resource and record of 500 years of their enterprise and innovation. Much work has yet to be completed to bring together a full understanding of the family history.

Today the House is open as a museum (Sun, Tues-Thur from April-Sept subject to current Government guidelines) and wedding venue whilst the former utility buildings for the estate have been converted into shops, galleries, cafes, workshops, exhibition spaces and adventure companies – why not come along and explore.

Flint tools, arrowheads and knives found on Mount Edgcumbe land suggest the area has been occupied by man since at least the Mesolithic period some 8,000 years ago.

Mount Edgcumbe first emerges in recorded history in 705A.D. when King Geraint, the Celtic King of Cornwall, granted the area east of the line between Millbrook and Kingsand to Sherborne Abbey (which held the land on behalf of the Saxon Kings of Wessex). In effect the peninsula became a Saxon landholding distinct from the kingdom of Cornwall (and it remained that way until October 1844 when the county boundary was redrawn once again to include Mount Edgcumbe in Cornwall).

Following the Norman Conquest of 1066, the land was given to the Valletort family and, in turn, was passed by marriage to the Durnfords. In 1493 Sir Piers Edgcumbe married Joan Durnford and what we now know as Mount Edgcumbe passed to him as a dowry.

The sea coast, river banks, open grassland, wooded valleys and protected slopes allowed the family to invent and reinvent Mount Edgcumbe time and again.  Rare, unusual and exotic plants and trees were introduced over hundreds of years all of which has led to the creation of one of the most diverse and magnificent landscapes in the UK.

Plymouth (and Sir Francis Drake) was first alerted to the approach of the Spanish Armada in July 1588 – from St Michael’s Chapel on Mount Edgcumbe land.  The family fought off other invasion attempts – Mount Edgcumbe, through the centuries, has always been a key defensive position protecting Plymouth and the rest of England.

The roads we use in the lower Park today were laid down by the American Army during the Second World War to allow troops and equipment to embark from Mount Edgcumbe for the D-Day landings in Normandy.

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Mount Edgcumbe House and Country Park, Cremyll, Torpoint, PL10 1HZ,
Telephone: +441752 822236  Email: mt.edgcumbe@plymouth.gov.uk

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