Saturday, 27 May 2017

Cotehele - National Trust Estate

" The need of quiet, the need of air, the need of exercise, and, I believe, the sight of sky and of things growing, seem human needs, common to all . . ."

so said Octavia Hill, National Trust founder in 1888.

I so agree with her and that is why I am a member of this organisation that looks after our national treasures, our heritage, nature and wildlife, land and landscape including our coastal paths.

One such place is Cotehele (pronounced  coat-eel) https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cotehele
which is only a few miles from my home and a favourite place over the years for walking with dogs, children and grandchildren and I was there again yesterday with Benji.
The car park charge of £3 per car per visit is free to National Trust members, so at £5.40 per month for my membership fee, just 2 visits covers that cost. 
We took the woodland path . . . . 

 A very welcome seat to rest from the climb, listen to the birdsong all around and admire all the fresh greenery as well as a first few Foxgloves.

 "C'mon, then - let's carry on!"


 A small, very simple chapel . . 

















In his survey of Cornwall, Richard Carew notes the interesting reason why Sir Richard chose to build a chapel on this particular spot on Cotehele land.

‘Sir Richard Edgcumbe was driven to hide himself in those his thicke woods, which overlook the river, what time being suspected of favouring the Earl of Richmond’s party against King Richard the Third, hee was hotely pursued, and narrowly searched for; which extremity taught him a sudden policy, to put a stone in his cap, and tumble the same into the water, while these rangers were close at his heels, who, looking down after the noyse, and seeing his cap swimming thereon, gave over their farther hunting, and left him liberty to shift away, and ship over into Brittaine; for a grateful remembrance of which delivery, hee afterward builded in the place of his lurking, a chapell.’


 Benji and I climbed a little higher and came to a viewing point with views across the Tamar, far below, to the little village of Calstock and the Calstock viaduct, part of the Great Western Railway.

 How about that house for a beautiful spot to live, on the bend of the River Tamar, facing south and surrounded by beauty?
Of course, you would have to own a boat, too . . . 

 Maybe something a bit smaller, then?

 On the way back down to Cotehele Quay, we passed a huge stand of Gunnera.


















I was looking forward to reaching the Quay, partly to see again the Tamar sailing barge, "Shamrock", built in 1899 and now permanently kept here. But I confess I was looking forward even more to a very welcome cup of tea and hoping there would be a table free in the tiny secluded garden at the side of The Edgcumbe Tearooms. My luck was in - only one table was occupied/

 Here comes my pot of tea - and a slice of Apricot Sponge! Well, it looked so good it would have been rude to leave it, wouldn't it? (I had eaten half of it before I remembered to take a photograph - sorry!)

 It's such a pretty little garden with rambling roses almost hiding the entrance gate; I did wonder if many of the customers who were either inside or sitting on benches out the front were even aware of it.


 The perfect place to sit awhile after our walk, in the dappled shade of an overhanging tree.
Benji hasn't been to a beach yet - a surprising omission by me, so maybe our next jaunt will be to Seaton beach, Cornwall. 
"The need of quiet, the need of air, the need of exercise, and, I believe, the sight of sky and of things growing, seem human needs, common to all..."
- Octavia Hill, National Trust founder, 1888
"The need of quiet, the need of air, the need of exercise, and, I believe, the sight of sky and of things growing, seem human needs, common to all..."
- Octavia Hill, National Trust founder, 1888

27 comments:

  1. It's ages since I have been to Cotehele. I have no memory of the little chapel. Time o revisit, I think!

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    1. I suspect that your previous visits would have been to the House and Gardens, so unless you left the gardens by the lower gate, which brings you on to the woodland path, you wouldn't have come across the little chapel, which is perched on the river side of the path, high above the Tamar. It's a steady climb up to that point, so not accessible to Malcolm, I'm afraid.

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  2. Leftovers from an age of elegance. We have nothing that old in this country unless you want to count the remains of Indian villages and burial mounds. I think it must be lovely to live among the reamins and reminders of such an early time of human inhabitance.

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    1. At the risk of sounding like an advertisement for the National Trust - it is those old properties that are often bought and maintained by the NT when the original owners can no longer afford the upkeep of such huge estates. "Leftovers from an age of elegance" describes such places perfectly!

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  3. Lovely to see Benji enjoying his walk. It was also wonderful to enjoy one of our favourite places through your pictures. The tea rooms always seem to produce something out of the ordinary that is so yummy ! Sarah x

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    1. Irresistible cake, Sarah!! If/when you decide to visit again, I'm always ready to join you for tea and cake in that little garden - so English!

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  4. That's definitely on my list for my next Cornish trip! Benji looks well - how is his new health regime working out?

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    1. I think he's still losing weight gradually, but he's missed a weigh-in because of the Bank Holiday. He enjoys his food but thinks I'm being cruel and starving him!!! As for Cotehele - the walk up through the woods would be impossible for you, I'm pretty sure, though the quay and tea rooms would be accessible, as would another route through the woods to the Mill.
      I hope you come back to Cornwall soon. x

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    2. Thanks for that Rosie. Cotehele may have to remain as a place to enjoy via your blog. I think Benji will forgive the "starvation" diet if he gets great walks like that.

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  5. Oh this was lovely to look at and read.
    I so enjoyed my visit through your photographs.

    Yes, Seaton Beach sounds a good choice ...

    All the best Jan

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the trip to Cotehele through my photos znd hopefully it won't be long before we visit Seaton beach.

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  6. What a beautiful place to amble. Benji looks like he is thoroughly enjoying himself on your walks.

    Fascinating bit of information on Sir Edgcumbe's escape from the King's men!

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    1. I love learning about the history of these old houses and estates and the description of Sir Richard's escape is fantastic to read.
      To stand behind the chapel and look over the drop to the river Tamar where he threw his cap certainly fires the imagination.

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  7. Looks like a lovely, peaceful place.

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    1. It's like being transported to another age, especially when there aren't too many people around. Very atmospheric during those quiet times.

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  8. Benji is looking very trim!

    Cotehele looks like a wonderful place, Rosie. Lucky you to live so close.

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  9. Yes, it's about 8 or 9 miles away and very close to where my son and his family live, so when I go to see them, I often continue on to Cotehele afterwards. Even more now that I have joined the National Trust and get free parking!!

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  10. Hello, Rosie, and thank you for this lovely meander around Cotehele. We only walked down to the quay once, many years ago when our children were young, but we have been to Cotehele since then, but always when its been too cold for a stroll outside. We love Cotehele, it really is a house in which you step back in time, preserved because the family had their main home at Mount Edgecumbe and so this was, in effect, just their holiday home. We also enjoy visits to Lanhydrock, much larger and quite different in scale from Cotehele.
    Margaret P
    www.margaretpowling.com

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  11. Glad you enjoyed Cotehele again, Margaret and Lanhydrock estate is another favourite walking area, though usually from the Respryn car park where the dogs can enjoy a good old romp in the woods and fields, or a more sedate walk up the main carriageway that leads from the station to the main house - and the Stable Cafe and sunny courtyard.

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  12. Just found your blog through a comment you made on mine. Lovely photos, so happy to see you live in Cornwall, a county we've visited and loved for more than 30 years. We still visit regularly as my brother lives in Bodmin. I look forward to seeing more of your photos. By the way, I'll answer your questions re the diet in my next blog.

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  13. Benji is gorgeous, such a cute face. Beautiful place to visit and walk.. when we think our dog needs to lose a pound or two she has slices of carrot instead of biscuits and loves it.

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  14. I tried him with carrot, but he won't touch it. However, he does like apple, so an occasional slice or two to replace a few of his biscuits could do the trick. Thanks for the tip. x

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  15. Thank you for the diet tip but it sounded like the Atkins diet to me and I remember a teaching assistant who followed it and as for ever using a peppermint spray fort her breath, but it didn't mask the awful smell! Glad you have found a tasty low calorie treat for Benji.

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  16. I don't have an accurate weight at the moment, Mary, but his collar is very loose now and he's galloping along on our walks, all to the good. I've been shampooing him myself since his last trim and weigh-in, but I think I should take him to the groomers for a weight check.
    I really MUST update my blog as well . . . .

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