Exploring Tremenheere Sculpture gardens

Agave with sculpture at tremenheere sculpture gardnesWe had a real spring treat this week and explored the Tremenheere sculpture gardens with a guided tour from director and founder Dr Neil Armstrong arranged in conjunction with Cornwall 365.

Tremenheere gardens hold a growing world class collection of sculptures and a recreated Chelsea Gold Medal winning garden Tremenheere has a fabulous setting cocooned within a cathedral like woodland that embraces an inspirational sub tropical planting against the counter point of extensive views over Mounts bay.

We arrived in plenty of time to park and then explore the plant sales and look enviously at the cafe goers as they enjoyed lunch al fresco over a glass of wine on the terrace before being gathered from the forecourt of the new art gallery, by our charming host to go on our way up towards the gardens

Journey through the gardens

pilgrims footbridgeThe first stop was beside the bridge where the St Michael’s Way a former pilgrim’s path between landfall at St Ives and St Michael’s Mount, avoiding the hazardous sea passage around Land’s End. (An example of the type of boat that they would have used to travel from Ireland perhaps, was pulled up on the far bank) The pilgrims would then journey on across France and Spain but we could see a couple sitting in the shade of weeping willow beside an enchanting pond further along the stream and the promise of garden drew us ever onwards.

We were a smallish group but the perfectly paced walk, set by our host up thorough the woods, kept our group comfortably together, complete with pushchair and the gentleman with the walking stick, effortlessly together.

Walkers in a landscape of dreams

Our route wound onwards over boardwalks beside a gurgling steam into the depths of the garden and we became walkers in the landscape of dreams.walkers in a wooded landscape

A passion for Planting

The planting is fabulous at Tremenheere with rare palms and plants gathered from around the world by our knowledgeable host – the massive size o f the Agaves alone testify to the fact that this really is a sub subtropical garden. Our visit today though was to learn more about the sculptures and their role in the landscape so forgive me if I concentrate on these this week. Ideally hope to return very soon to take a closer look at the plants

A passage of Sculptures

The sculptures led our passage through the garden on a thoughtful journey each placed for a purpose and we discovered installations by world famous artist nestling comfortably in the leaf mould and powerful sculpture reigning defiantly over Mounts bay as we climbed the valley with the sun filtering through the trees into the vivid bright light of Coastal Cornwall.

I can only describe a few of the sculptures that we saw along our way here and I do hope that my imperfect memory does them justice

Koshio Saga

An elegant thought made real and placed in the woodland, reduced to a minimum of expression by the artist but so eloquently explained by our host.

woodland installation by Kishio

The line along the top represents the journey of life quietly outlined by the passage of the sun filtering through the trees.


James Turrell R.A.

Trewlwolow Kernow “Twilight in Cornwall”

Blue sky revealed through ovid opening with sun shadowperfect blue sky framed by james turrell's buildingThis elliptical chamber with an ovoid open to the sky proved to be a sensory experience as we moved down the underground passage into the brilliantly lit chamber with just one fabulous reflection of sunlight so perfectly outlined on the clean white walls. For me it felt rather like entering the underground fogou at Carn Euny and it must have brought the same sense of the world magnified to those ancient peoples


Penny Saunders

The restless temple

From a distance this appears to be a great reflection of a Greek temple but it is designed to move to an angle of forty five degrees in high winds and reflect the transient nature of consciousness.the restless temple - a representation of tradition architecture designed to move in the wind

Tim Shaw RA


Powerful brooding presence of the mythical Minotaur presiding over Mounts Bay

Matt Chivers


A stone carving combining organic cloud forms and computer generated angular shapesStone sculpture in a woodland setting

Michaels Chaikin

Perspex Wind Sculptures

kinetic artwork against the skyWe were surprised as we emerged from the woodlands into a field to find a kaleidoscope of colors restlessly moving in a sort of group anarchy or perhaps more kindly as a victorian automaton

Darren Hawkes

Gold Medal winning garden from Chelsea Flower show in 2015.chelsea gold medal gardne reinstalled


An elegant garden recreated beside the stream that heads out to Mounts Bay under the shade of weeping willow. Alas I shall be glued to the TV as usual this year so it was a real opportunity to the real thing in the flesh and I lingered until all of the walkers had gone to walk down to the tranquil water



A brief history of Tremenherre Sculpture Garden

tremenheere shapeTremenheere means “place of the long stones” and indeed there are some magnificent examples standing in the entrance. From this early pre history the land was owned by the monks of St Michael’s Mount until bought by William De Tremenheere in 1290

The association with the mount continued though and it was said to have been the vineyard for St Michael’s Mount in the 15th century.

The Tremenheere family were prominent in Penzance and served as mayors on nine occasions from 1655 until 1797. The established woodland of sweet chestnut, Oak Holly and beach was planted in 1830 around the fertile farmland and a carriage drive inserted to the summer retreat of Seymour Tremenheere. From the Tremenheere the land passed to the Pearce family for another four generations before it was bought by Dr Neil Armstrong in 1997 with an impossible dream to make a major contemporary Mediterranean garden with Sculptures to lead the eye, explain the garden form and focus the view



Where is Tremenheere Sculpture Garden?

Tremenheere gardens are a short drive from us at Ednovean Farm quite close to Penzance, with fabulous views out over Mounts bay to compliment the sub tropical planting and world class sculptures.

“Follow the A30 westbound towards Penzance. When you reach the outskirts of Penzance take the 3rd exit at the Morrisons roundabout onto Jelbert Well. Pass KFC, Currys, Halfords and B&M on your left. Take the first right onto Posses Lane (signposted Gulval). From the end of Posses Lane follow the signs to Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens. After  just over 1 mile turn left into Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens.”

A visit to Tremenheere Sculpture gardens is a real treat for art lovers, garden lovers and a photographers dream

About Christine Taylor

Christine has written a weekly blog about life at Ednovean Farm and interesting places to visit in West Cornwall for over ten years now, concentrating on those off the beaten track places that only the locals find. Charles and Christine Taylor have hosted Luxury Bed and Breakfast at Ednovean Farm Nr Penzance in West Cornwall since 1991 and live there with three cats and five horses, including a Spanish Stallion called Danni. Ednovean Farm has been awarded AA five star gold for Bed and breakfast and is included in The Michelin Guide and The Alastair Sawday Guide . The Farmhouse and gardens has been featured in BBC Homes and Antiques, Homes and Gardens. Period Living and 25 Beautiful Homes as well as being used as a film and photo shoot location.

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