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Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens

Tremenheere sculpture gardens

Escape to an Enchanted Valley Oasis at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens

Nestled within a sheltered valley setting near Penzance lies Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens – one of Cornwall’s most inspired arty havens. If you come here, you can expect a day mingling with wonderful artworks across a lush sub-tropical paradise.

Spread over a 30 acre site, a visit here combines nature and culture seamlessly from cascading streams and jungle zones to delightful installation pieces. Here’s everything you need to plan an inspirational spring or summer family day out in magical Tremenheere

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Getting There

You’ll discover Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens tucked just inland from Cornwall’s south coast near Penzance. It lies roughly 10 minutes drive west from town along the B3311 coast road via Chyenhal and Gulval.

Limited parking is available on site with overflow along the entrance lane if full. Or why not make your visit part of a wider St Ives and west Cornwall adventure? The gardens sit conveniently midway between historic market town Marazion and vibrant harbourside St Ives.

Opening Times & Tickets

Tremenheere Sculpyure Gardens open daily – 1st February – 31st October: 10.30am – 4.30pm

Standard admission prices: Adult £13.00 |Ages 5-15 £6.50 | Under 5 Free

Family tickets offering excellent value are priced at £33 (2 adults + 3 children). An annual pass costs £40 per adult that makes exploring different seasons a joy.

Note the site closes fully in winter but special events still run like bonfire nights and carol singing. Check their online events calendar for details.

tremenheere sculpyure gardens in penzance cornwall

The Gardens’ History

Before 1295, the land belonged to the monks of St Michael’s Mount, likely used for vineyards to nourish their spiritual endeavors. Then, Michael De Tremenheere, a tenant farmer, acquired the land, beginning a family legacy that lasted for over 600 years. The 15th century saw the land flourish with vineyards once more, supplying sweet grapes to the island monastery. By the 1800s, the focus shifted to strawberries, their fame even reaching across the Atlantic with exports to Newfoundland.

The Visionary Tremenheeres:

The 19th century saw another crucial chapter unfold. Seymour Tremenheere, the last of his line, left an indelible mark. A prominent national figure, he planted the Beech, Oak, Sweet Chestnut, and Holly that still grace the woods, creating a lasting arboreal legacy. He also carved a carriage way snaking up the hill, leading to his summer retreat – a testament to his deep connection to the land.

The 20th century brought a period of neglect, but the land’s potential wasn’t lost. In 1979, Mary and Harry Greenaway, captivated by the beauty and history, embarked on a transformative journey. With unwavering dedication, they cleared overgrown areas, nurtured the existing flora, and invited renowned artists to create site-specific sculptures that resonated with the landscape. In 1979, they opened the gates to the public, offering a unique space where art and nature intertwined.

The gardens continue to evolve, reflecting the Greenaways’ vision. Artists like James Turrell and Barbara Hepworth left their mark, enriching the space with contemporary dialogues. Today, Tremenheere remains a testament to the enduring power of artistic expression and the vision of those who dared to dream. It stands as a captivating blend of history, art, and nature, whispering tales of the past while offering a vibrant space for reflection and inspiration in the present.

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Tremenheere Gardens Cafe

The cafe offers a delightful interlude to your garden exploration. Soak in the stunning views of St Michael’s Mount while indulging in a menu celebrating the freshest local Cornish produce. Whether you prefer a light breakfast under the sun-drenched veranda, a hearty lunch fueled by seasonal ingredients, or a decadent slice of homemade cake paired with a steaming cup of coffee, the cafe caters to every taste.

Choose to bask in the warmth of the enclosed veranda or you could enjoy the crisp Cornish air on the outdoor terrace. With its focus on sustainability and ethical sourcing, the cafe echoes the values that resonate fully throughout the gardens, ensuring your experience is as nourishing for the soul as it is for the body. So, after wandering through the enchanting sculptures and vibrant flora, take a moment to savour the offerings of the Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens Cafe. The food is lovely and well worth trying out. If you are in the mood for a Cornish cream tea, then this is the place to be!

A Sculptural Safari: Unearthing Hidden Art at Tremenheere Gardens

Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens offer more than just a scenic stroll; they are an open-air art gallery with an impressive collection of contemporary sculptures seamlessly integrated into the landscape. Prepare to be surprised, challenged, and inspired as you embark on a sculptural safari through the verdant haven.

Iconic Encounters:

Towering over the valley, Barbara Hepworth’s “Two Standing Figures” commands attention with their minimalist elegance. Imagine the interplay of light and shadow dancing on their smooth granite surfaces, evoking a sense of serenity and contemplation. Look out for David Nash’s “Hollow Form,” a captivating wooden sculpture inviting you to peer into its heart, pondering the relationship between nature and human intervention.

david nash

Whimsical Delights:

Don’t miss Cornelia Parker’s “The Cloud,” a cluster of playful silver balloons defying gravity with their whimsical charm. It’s a testament to the power of everyday objects transformed into thought-provoking art. Be sure to keep an eye out for “Sitting Figure” by Barbara Hepworth and “Cornish Echo” by Peter Randall-Page, each adding their unique voice to the diverse artistic conversation.

Hidden Gems:

Venture deeper into the gardens to discover more sculptural treasures. Seek out “The Nest” by Mary Butcher, a woven willow cocoon offering a moment of quiet reflection. “Echoes” by Michael Geoghegan, crafted from weathered slate, reflects the surrounding landscape, blurring the lines between art and nature. And for a touch of humor, don’t miss “The Gardener” by Maggi Hambling, a bronze figure diligently tending to his invisible plot.

A Continuously Evolving Canvas:

The collection at Tremenheere is ever-evolving, with new sculptures being added each year. Keep an eye out for temporary exhibitions and installations, ensuring every visit offers a fresh artistic adventure. Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or simply appreciate the beauty of artistic expression, Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens offer a unique opportunity to connect with art and nature in a truly unforgettable way.

Plant Treasures of Tremenheere

Imagine towering palm trees whispering tales of faraway lands, their swaying fronds framing picturesque views. Wander past vibrant succulents forming miniature landscapes, their intricate shapes and textures mesmerizing the eye. Delicate tree ferns unfurl their emerald fronds, their prehistoric allure adding a touch of magic to the atmosphere.

Exotic treasures abound, with vibrant bromeliads showcasing their colorful blooms, delicate orchids adding a touch of elegance, and fragrant magnolias perfuming the air. Don’t miss the Surreal Succulents Nursery, a dedicated haven for rare and unusual varieties, sure to ignite the green thumbs within you.

tremenheere aerial shot

Nature’s artistry isn’t limited to the exotic. Explore the wooded areas, where ancient oaks and sweet chestnuts stand tall, whispering secrets of centuries past. Discover fragrant rhododendrons blooming in vibrant hues, adding a splash of color to the verdant palette. And amidst the lush greenery, keep an eye out for colorful wildflowers carpeting the ground, celebrating the beauty of native flora.

Tremenheere’s plant life isn’t merely ornamental; it plays a vital role in the ecosystem. The diverse habitat supports a vibrant community of butterflies, birds, and other wildlife, adding another layer of enchantment to your exploration.

Whether you’re a seasoned botanist or simply appreciate the beauty of nature, Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens offer a captivating journey through a world of captivating plant life. So breathe in the fresh air, marvel at the diverse flora, and discover the unique harmony between art and nature that makes this Cornish haven so special.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are dogs allowed? – Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome in the gardens,except in the cafe and shop. Please be mindful of other visitors and ensure your dog picks up after themselves.

Is the garden wheelchair accessible? –  Unfortunately, due to the natural contours of the land, most of the gardens are not suitable for wheelchairs,mobility scooters, or prams. However, staff are happy to advise on accessible routes and areas you can enjoy

When is the best time to visit? – Spring and summer offer vibrant greenery and blooming flowers, while autumn showcases stunning foliage colors. Winter provides a peaceful escape with fewer crowds. Each season has its charm, so choose based on your preference

How long does a visit to Tremenheere Gardens typically take? – Most visitors spend 1-2 hours exploring the gardens and sculptures at their own pace. You can allocate more time if you plan to enjoy the cafe, shop, or attend an event.

tremenheere garden

Nearby Attractions

Take the time to check out some of these places too:

  • Penlee House – This art gallery and museum in Penzance has an impressive collection of paintings of the Newlyn School of artists along with displays on local social and industrial history in areas like fishing and mining.
  • St Michael’s Mount – Catch a ferry from Marazion to explore this scenic tidal island topped with a medieval church and castle, colourful harbour, terraced gardens and tiny village with museums and restaurants.
  • Mousehole Harbour – This picturesque fishing port has narrow winding streets dotted with cafés and independent shops which lead down to the charming tiny protected harbour filled with fishing boats.
  • Minack Theatre – Found near Porthcurno this uniquely constructed open-air cliffside theatre stages productions over spring and summer with unforgettable panoramic sea views from its tiered stony seating.
  • Porthcurno Telegraph Museum – Right by Minack Theatre, this museum is dedicated to international telecommunications and located in Victorian buildings associated with the first submarine cables.
  • Geevor Tin Mine – Go underground at this preserved 18th century tin mine near Pendeen, seeing the huge steam engines used to pump water as you learn about the history and importance of mining in Cornwall.
  • St Ives – Just up the coast from Tremenheere, this picturesque harbour town boasts stunning Blue Flag beaches, galleries and studios showcasing work by famous local artists, plus charming cobbled streets filled with shops, cafés and restaurants.
  • Levant Mine and Beam Engine – Found just north of St Ives near Trewellard, take a tour of this historic Cornish beam engine, once used to pump water from Europe’s deepest mine shaft on the famous Tin Coast.
  • Trengwainton Gardens – These scenic National Trust gardens are also just minutes from Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens. They contain exotic and ornamental plants amongst deciduous wooded areas and several architectural follies to discover.

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