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Things to see in the garden at Trerice

A view of the front of the house at Trerice in summertime
A view of the house at Trerice in summertime | © Hilary Daniel

From the knot garden, inspired by grand Elizabethan ceilings, to the wilderness of the mowhay where wildlife thrives, the garden at Trerice is full of variety.

Knot garden

Eight hundred young yew trees grow in the Elizabethan-inspired knot garden planted at Trerice in 2013. The layout mirrors sections of plasterwork in the Great Chamber, a room in the house which overlooks the weaving paths and provides one of the best views of the design as it passes through the seasons.

The flowers planted include marjoram (Origanum laevigatum 'Herrenhausen') and lavender (Lavandula angustifolia 'Silver Mist') which attract pollinating insects, especially local bees and butterflies. Return for the dense petals of repeat flowering floribunda roses 'Sweet Child of Mine' that bloom until the first frosts.


Shelter from sun and showers in the compact wooden summerhouse with a good view of the knot garden and orchard.

A child plays a traditional game of Kayling, a sort of garden skittles, outside in the garden at Trerice, Cornwall
Child playing a game of Kayling in Trerice's garden | © National Trust Images / John Millar

Kayling lawn and parade ground

This is the highest part of the garden with views of nearby countryside which was once part of the Trerice estate. Play a game of Cornish kayles, a local variation of traditional skittles, among the hardy pink and white cyclamen found in autumn and spring beneath the trees.

The parade ground’s name comes from the time when The Choughs, Newquay’s home guard unit, exercised at Trerice. The wide stretch of lawn is a perfect spot for a picnic, to take in the early autumn sun, toss a round of quoits or play a game of 'slapcock' an early variation of badminton.

Smiling child hugging a tree in the garden at Trerice, Cornwall
Child hugging a tree at Trerice | © National Trust Images / John Millar

Apple orchard

A small orchard of apple trees surrounds the knot garden with an emphasis on traditional Cornish varieties including Cornish Longstem, Pascoe’s Pippin and Cornish Aromatic. Butterflies are attracted to windfalls and overripe apples and can often be seen stopping for a sweet treat.

In autumn you can pick your own apples, for a small donation, or purchase a ready-picked bag from the welcome team in reception. Local food banks also visit Trerice and collect apples for the nearby community.

Wildlife in the mowhay

Open for the summer months, the mowhay field is a habitat full of natural plants and wildlife. Stinging nettles and brambles remain in the field and grass grows tall around the cut spaces shared with visitors. The nettles are a vital food for butterflies and the brambles a haven for hedgehogs.

The mowhay is closed throughout the autumn and winter months to allow the field to be grazed.


There are several eco hives installed around the site that aid in the rewilding of bees in the area. They provide a suitable habitat for them to thrive, when once they would have taken advantage of naturally formed hollows in the trunks of mature trees.

You might also spot small wooden bird nesting boxes around the gardens, which the gardeners and volunteers have been busy making and installing in order to provide a safe habitat for small birds.

A group stand outside while children play in the garden to the east front of Trerice, Cornwall

Discover more at Trerice

Find out when Trerice is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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