Picnic in the shade of royalty at Trengwainton

Stop and take time to contemplate in the Edwardian summer house © National Trust/Marina Rule

Stop and take time to contemplate in the Edwardian summer house

Take a walk up Trengwainton’s tree-lined drive and around the half-way mark, the scene opens to reveal the colourful stream garden to your left and to your right, a favourite place to pause - the Royal Meadow.

Perfect for a picnic
On warmer days, this picturesque arboretum often rings to the happy sound of families gathering in the shade of mature trees for a picnic, or having fun at events taking place here. But how many realise they’re sitting in the shade of royalty?

Royal commemorations
This meadow is the focal point for trees planted to commemorate royal events. The largest tree is a common oak (Quercus robur), planted to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897.

Nearby is a species of lime (Tilia platyphyllos), planted in 1901 to mark the coronation of Edward VII. The Queen Mother planted the Bhutan pine (Pinus wallichiana) near the drive in 1962.

A princess's royal return
On the west side of the meadow, there once stood a Mexican pine planted by Princess Anne – as she was then known - in 1972. This was destroyed in a storm 30 years later.

At the invitation of the Bolitho family, Anne returned as the Princess Royal in summer 2010 to plant a magnolia campbellii Sir Harold Hillier as its replacement.

Perfect for storytelling
Towards the back of the meadow is the Edwardian summer house, inviting children and adults to sit and dream up tales of gingerbread houses, fairies and elves.

Looking like something from a children’s story, it was donated by Judith Frames and her brother Paul, as a memorial to their parents. Relocated from the Midlands, its restoration was completed in spring 2008.