The Friends have supported projects in the House & Park totalling more than £830,000 over the years. Here is a sample of some of the projects funded by the Friends.
2019 The replacement Friends Lodge
Following a preliminary discussion with Cornwall Planning Department at the end of December 2017 we finally received planning permission to go ahead on 4th January 2019 having overcome objections from Historic England and the Cornwall Council Historic Environment Department. We had already decided on the type of building and supplier so an order was placed without delay.
Thanks to the generosity of Lee Steening, the Head Gardener, in allowing us to use a part of his domain just beyond the Archway into the Formal Gardens site work commenced on 15th January with a team comprised of Nigel Bruce-Robertson, Steve Creese, Alan Drummond, Ged Edgcumbe, Tony Hutchings and Neil Rugg.
The area selected contained a concrete block wall surrounding a cold-frame and half filled with large red stones alongside a large pile of earth containing stones, slates and other debris dumped following the bombing of the Orangery during WW2. Fortunately we were able to call on assistance from Bryan Luxford with the mini-digger loaned by the Mount Edgcumbe Model Railway Society and Nick Butcher with the Park’s tractor.
Work by the Friends to clear the site and then fit out the Lodge continued through the Spring.
Lambert Lodge opened in May 2019 and was officially opened by Richard Hoare, Fred Lambert’s newphew, on 26 July 2019. The lodge, provides an Information Point for visitors to the Park and raises funds for the Friends through the sale of second hand books.
Please do pop in and take a look next time you are in the Park.
Projects funded by the Friends in 2018 included:
- A new buggy at a cost of £9,275 which arrived in the Park for the start of the 2018 season.
- Additional tracking for the field entrances – this is used for events including the Annual Car Show (£2,963)
- Rail Track for the Model Railway at a cost of £4,000
- Alasken Saw for the Sawmill (£1,337)
- New blinds for the Chapel in Mt. Edgcumbe House (£159)
- Surveyor for the English Garden House (£5,050)
- Summer Bedding Plants (£3,000)
- Repairs to the Green Buggy (£986)
- Replacement polythene for the Polytunnel (£1,152)
- The Wreck Map (£300)
Major projects funded by The Friends in earlier years include:
Repair to the French Garden Fountain
The Friends provided £5,000 funding to repair the pond and fountain in 2017.
The Elizabeth II Knot Garden
This lovely garden situated between the House and the Barrow Centre commemorates both the Tudor origins of the estate and the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. It was designed by Lee Stenning in the form of a knot garden with pergolas and seating. The garden was created in September 2016 with the help of 16 German Horticultural students. Metalwork was commissioned from Mark Stephens, resident Blacksmith. This previously ‘lost’ area once used as a car park is in a beautiful setting matching the Earls’ Garden on the other side of the House. Alongside the garden, the remains of the original Laundry (lost in the bombing raid of 1941) have been cleared of ivy and overgrown shrubs, and a sandbagged Anderson Shelter has been installed, with an information board. The Friends funded this project to the tune of £20,000.
The Deer Garden
To mark the 500th. anniversary of the imparking of the deer at Mount Edgcumbe in 2015, The Friends commissioned Head Gardener, Lee Stenning, to create a Deer Garden close to the Barrow Centre. Mark Stevens, the local blacksmmith was commissioned to create two stainless steel sculptures – a buck and doe. Over the years as the garden has matured the postioning of the deer among the ferns and other plants has become stunning.
Following a request from the gardeners and park rangers for a tractor that could handle tasks around the gardens and park, a second hand tractor was sourced. This was paid for by The Friends and has saved the park having to hire in equipment.
The Metta Catharina Project
This project focusses on the maritime heritage of Plymouth Sound through the story of the merchant brigantine the Metta Catharina, wrecked close to the Edgcumbe shoreline during a gale in 1786. This is a permanent shipwreck exhibition at Mount Edgcumbe. As part of a bid for heritage lottery funding Friends pledged the sum of £8,000. The Metta Catharina Exhibition was opened on 19 June 2013 by Monty Halls, TV Presenter and Marine Biologist, and is situated in three adjoining rooms in the House.
Children’s Play Area
The children’s play area beside the lodge and picnic area at the Cremyll Gate was jointly funded by the Friends and a generous grant from SITA Cornwall Trust. The play area is in the form of an adventure playground. Proximity to the picnic area and the lodge means that parents can relax and enjoy a drink or snack whilst their children are playing!
The Green Buggy
This vehicle, a modified golf buggy, which is capable of carrying six passengers was purchased by The Friends some years ago. It orginially ran alongside the Ecobus. It now provides additional transport on busy days to the new Buggy (which The Friends purchased in 2018).
Granite Planters and Benches at Cremyll Ferry Quay
The renovation of the buildings at the Cremyll ferry has been completed with the addition of some large granite planters and seating paid for by the Friends at a cost of £3,000. The planters provide a pleasant feature at the entrance to the park and hopefully prevent people parking where they shouldn’t. They came from China and are incredibly heavy so we’re hoping that they won’t prove as tempting to the light fingered as the antique specimens which are regularly stolen from parks and gardens elsewhere!
The Camellia Trail
We were asked to help the park to upgrade this ever popular Spring trail. Initially, the Friends supported the project by funding a full professional survey and report on what is required to upgrade it (which included the design of new art work for the signs along the trail). The new signs were in place ready for the start of the 2013 season, and are a great improvement.
The Relic Garden
The Relic Garden arose from a generous legacy left to the Friends in a member’s will. The Friends decided that the money should be used on one specific project, and the park suggested a relic garden in which to display items of statuary that were in storage. The Relic Garden was established by Park staff, led by the Head Gardener, Lee Stenning and is situated between the English and French Gardens, in the Lower Park.
Development of the Cremyll Lodge Garden
The Friends have helped to create an open area to the side of the Cremyll Lodge (near the Lower Gates), where people who have bought food and drink from the shop can sit and enjoy their purchases. The area has been cleared by Park staff and the Friends have paid £1,065 for several picnic tables located in this sheltered and sunny location.
The Barrow Centre
With the help and guidance from experienced and keen Friends members, a Fire Station Museum was established adjacent to the Stables cafe. The eye-catching collection is on clear display as visitors enjoy their break in the courtyard.
In the House
The Friends have also supported projects within Mt Edgcumbe House, by providing financial support for items such as a butler and housekeeper outfit for house staff and sets of period costumes for vistors, both young and old, to dress up in. In the drawing room Friends have had an armchair recovered and provided a matching window seat cushion so that visitors may sit and relax for a moment during their visit.