Godolphin's historic garden

Godolphin's gardens in April

When Sir Francis Godolphin built his garden in the 16th century, he was one of the most important and influential inhabitants of Cornwall. Much survives from his original layout, making the garden at Godolphin of national importance.

The King's Garden


This is the 16th-century privy garden to the King's Room – Godolphin’s stateroom.
In this walled garden, cloud-like box hedges follow neat paths that shelter the primroses flowering below them in the spring. In the summer it becomes a suntrap where you can breathe in the perfume of highly scented roses and lavender.


The Side garden


There are three remaining visible compartments here of the original nine-compartment Tudor design. They provide a wealth of traditional, seasonal planting and in the summer the herbaceous boarders are full of height, colour and scent.


The gardeners have carefully selected plants that benefit bees, butterflies and other pollinators, giving you the opportunity to take a seat on one of the bespoke benches under the trees and enjoy the varied insect life.


The Paddock


There’s much history here too, but today we’re proud to say it’s home to the first native bee haven on a National Trust site in the UK. Here we’re supporting a project to save the Cornish remnants of the native Black Honey Bee.


You might see bee keepers inspecting the hives on your visit.


The Orchard


The Orchard was replanted around 2010 with Cornish varieties of apples, alongside pears, a medlar, crab apples, white mulberries and cherries. Visit in spring and the trees will be filled with blossom and the sound of buzzing bees; come back in September and October and they’ll be laden with juicy fruit. We place many of the fallen apples in the back of the borders to feed birds and other wildlife.


The orchard is a great spot for views of the East Range of the house, the restored Cider House and the woodland stretching beyond.

Woman removing child's wellies from the back of a car

Please book ahead before visiting 

We're looking forward to welcoming you to the garden and estate for local exercise. You'll need to book your tickets for the garden by 3pm on the day before your visit. We've introduced advance booking to keep everyone safe and maintain social distancing. To avoid disappointment please book in advance as we cannot guarantee you a place without a booking. The wider estate and car park are open, but the house, tea-room, shop and outbuildings remain closed until further notice.