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Step Back in Time at this Stunning Tudor Manor

Nestled amidst a sheltered valley landscape near the dramatic North Cornish coast sits the National Trust-managed Trerice Estate. Featuring one of the county’s finest restored Elizabethan manor houses, visiting this lesser-explored attraction makes for an atmospheric day trip back through the centuries for all ages.

Ramble freely around the formal gardens exploding in colour or step inside the immaculately preserved residence adorned with intriguing features and stories galore from the Arundell family who called it home for generations since 1573.

Here’s everything you need to uncover this slice of captivating history in Cornwall

trerice exterior

Getting There

You’ll find Trerice located about 3 miles southeast of Newquay.

It sits inland from the village of Kestle Mill along minor country roads just off the A392 Newquay-Indian Queens road. Some signposts are provided but satellite navigation will navigate you there most easily.

The nearest train station is in Quintrell Downs, about 1.5 miles away.

If you are travelling by bus – Fowey via St Austell to Newquay, alight Kestle Mill, request stop, ¾ mile. Route 25. Truro to Newquay, alight Kestle Mill, request stop, ¾ mile. Route 93

Opening Times & Prices at Trerice

House & Gardens Opening Times:

Mid Feb – October 11am – 5pm

Trerice is also open some winter weekends and during Christmas holidays. Check the website for full opening times.

Admission Prices

Adult £13 | Children £6.50 Family Ticket £32.50

National Trust members access the estate for free year-round although winter opening of the manor itself varies.

view of trerice

The Estate’s History

Constructed in the late 1500s for the prominent Arundell family who still reside at Trerice today, the fascinating Grade I listed manor has an intriguing past.

Its story begins in the 14th century, intertwined with the fortunes of the Arundell family who called it home for nearly 400 years. In this intimate Elizabethan manor, history echoes through grand halls, intricate ceilings, and tranquil gardens.

The 16th century marked a significant turning point for Trerice. Sir John Arundell, enriched by service to several monarchs, laid the foundation for the present house in 1570. His son, Sir John V, brought his vision to life, erecting the iconic E-shaped structure we see today. Crafted from local Growan stone, the house boasts ornate gables, a grand porch, and large windows that illuminate the heart of the home – the Great Hall.

However, peace wasn’t always on the menu at Trerice. The English Civil War cast a long shadow, testing the loyalty of the Arundells. Sir John VI, nicknamed “John for the King” for his staunch Royalist leanings, valiantly defended nearby Pendennis Castle. While unsuccessful, his commitment was recognized after the Restoration, with the family elevated to Barons Arundell.

trerice walled garden

Life took another turn in the 18th century when the barony went extinct. Trerice, through marriage, eventually became the property of the Acland family, who, however, chose to reside elsewhere. This period of absentee ownership had its pros and cons. While the house escaped substantial alterations, it also suffered from neglect. Thankfully, Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, a prominent politician, occasionally used the grand hall for lavish gatherings, ensuring it didn’t fall into complete disrepair.

The 20th century brought yet another chapter. Facing financial difficulties, the Aclands sold Trerice to Cornwall County Council in 1915. Happily, the National Trust stepped in, acquiring the manor in 1953. The Eltons, the last tenants, meticulously restored Trerice, bringing its original Tudor charm back to life.

Today, Trerice stands as a testament to resilience and adaptation. From the grandeur of the Elizabethan era to the quietude of the present, it has witnessed significant events and changing fortunes. Visitors can now explore its rooms, adorned with original plasterwork, furniture, and paintings, offering a glimpse into the lives of those who once walked these halls. The gardens, with their recreated knot garden and fragrant borders, provide a serene escape.

What to See & Do at Trerice

Trerice Manor in Cornwall isn’t merely a building; it’s like a vibrant tapestry woven from centuries of history! Stepping through its doors is like stepping onto the pages of a well-worn storybook, transporting you to a world of Elizabethan grandeur, tranquil gardens, and captivating tales. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or simply seeking a day of unique experiences, Trerice offers something for everyone.

Unveiling the Secrets of the House:

Your journey begins in the heart of the manor – the Great Hall. Bathed in warm light, this impressive space instantly transports you to another era. Take a moment to admire the magnificent 300-year-old longcase clock, its rhythmic tick-tock a reminder of the passage of time. Look closer, and you’ll discover intricate details within the plasterwork, each motif whispering stories of the past.

trerice dining hall

Venture further into the Great Chamber, once the private haven of the lord and lady of the manor. Imagine them relaxing by the ornate Tudor bed, the room echoing with hushed conversations and laughter. The decorative plasterwork above, with its intricate patterns and hidden symbols, holds secrets waiting to be unraveled and imagined.

The Long Gallery, stretching the length of the house, beckons you next. Imagine lively gatherings as you admire the views of the sprawling gardens – did whispers of courtly intrigues and grand pronouncements once fill this space? As you explore the various rooms, each with its own distinct character, don’t miss the charming oak staircase, a silent witness to countless footsteps throughout the ages.

Exploring the Gardens at Trerice

Stepping outside, a delightful sensory experience awaits. Immerse yourself in the vibrant Knot Garden, its meticulously patterned flowerbeds reflecting the geometric perfection of the Elizabethan era. Breathe in the sweet fragrance of roses and lavender, while the vibrant colors of tulips and pansies captivate your gaze.

Wander further into the orchard, its branches laden with the promise of delicious Cornish apples. Here, time seems to slow down amidst the gentle rustling of leaves and the playful chirping of birds. Savor the sweet and tart notes of a freshly picked apple, its taste carrying whispers of the generations who cultivated these very trees.

trerice garden

Beyond the House and Gardens:

If you seek a touch of interactive fun, venture to the hayloft. Here, you can shed your modern attire and don authentic Tudor costumes, imagining yourself transported into the heart of the era. Strike a pose by the window, channel your inner historical figure, and capture the experience in a unique photo.

Feeling competitive? Challenge your friends and family to a game of Cornish kayles on the spacious lawn. This traditional game, similar to skittles, promises laughter and friendly competition. Enjoy a picnic under the shade of the trees, letting the timeless beauty of Trerice seep in.

The Barn Cafe

After exploring the house and gardens, treat yourself to a delicious spread at the Barn Cafe. Nestled within the manor grounds, this delightful spot offers a menu featuring locally sourced ingredients and homemade treats. Savour a steaming cup of Cornish tea and freshly baked scones, or indulge in a hearty lunch with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there parking available? – Yes, there is a large car park on-site with accessible and coach parking available. Parking charges apply, but free fro National Trust members.

Can I bring a picnic? – Yes, picnicking is allowed in designated areas within the grounds. Please dispose of litter responsibly.

Are dogs allowed? –  Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome in the grounds but not inside the house. Dog waste bins are provided.

Is the site accessible for wheelchairs and mobility aids? –  Most areas of the house and gardens are accessible with some limitations. Accessible toilets are available. Contact the National Trust beforehand for detailed information.

What facilities are available on-site? – There is a shop selling souvenirs, books,and refreshments. The Barn Cafe offers light meals, snacks, and beverages.Toilets are located near the car park and cafe.

trerice drawing room

Other nearby attractions

When you have seen Trerice, have a look at some of these other nearby attractions:

  • National Lobster Hatchery – This hatchery in Padstow focuses on conserving lobsters and educating visitors about the crustaceans. You can see live lobsters at different life stages and learn about their biology and the threats they face.
  • Prideaux Place – A 16th century manor house with lavish interiors and formal gardens. The house is still owned by the Prideaux-Brune family and contains fine art, porcelain, and furniture. Offers guided tours.
  • Lanhydrock – This National Trust site comprises a country house with Victorian interiors and extensive gardens including woodlands and a stream. The house has an interesting history of rebuilding after a disastrous fire in 1881. Prominently considered as one of the best National Trust places in Cornwall.
  • Cotehele House and Quay – A Tudor house run by the National Trust with medieval tapestries and Ark to Remember wildlife discovery zone. Visitors can also explore the quayside on the River Tamar and gardens.
  • Restormel Castle – Dramatic medieval ruins of a Norman motte-and-bailey castle dating from 1100. Set high on a hill, the castle has panoramic views over Cornwall.
  • Cardinham Woods – Peaceful broadleaf and conifer woodlands crisscrossed with walking trails and cycling paths. Great for a tranquil walk among the trees and dappled sunlight.
  • Bodmin Moor – Wild, windswept moorland offering exhilarating hikes across open expanses with remnants of Neolithic settlements. Highlights include the Hurlers stone circles and Jamaica Inn.
  • Mawgan Porth – This Blue Flag beach has soft golden sands perfect for surfing, swimming, or relaxing. The village offers places to eat overlooking the beach.
  • Newquay Zoo – Family-friendly zoo housing 130 species like lions, lemurs, penguins and meerkats. Lots of interactive exhibits and daily talks/feeds.

Whether you want to lose yourself in atmospheric architecture, explore stories of prominent locals who shaped Trerice’s future across 400 years or simply relax strolling vibrant gardens, visiting this Newquay-area haven offers adventure back through the centuries for all. Don’t miss this chance to experience one of Cornwall’s magnificent manors!

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