Mount Edgcumbe

Mount Edgcumbe House and Country Park is a popular visitor attraction in south-east Cornwall also known for its national Camellia collection. It sits in an area known as Barrow Park and was the ancestral home of the Earls of Mount Edgcumbe. In 1971 the Park was acquired by Plymouth City Council and Cornwall County Council and in 1987 consultants recommended in a Management Plan for the Estate a proposal for the use of Barrow Park as a Visitor Centre.

Parkes Lees Architects were commissioned to undertake a detailed condition survey of the buildings and contents with a historical research and archaeology report. The design was produced which received Planning and Listed Building Consents. This involved retaining an area as a bat roost which became a web-cam attraction for visitors.

The brief was to conserve and halt the decline of several buildings that were used in the past to service the large Estate, to create a practical re-use of the space, to increase the visitor’s understanding of the Estate, provide public access to areas previously denied and potentially generate new income. The buildings included the 18th century stable block and the 19th century Sawmill, Wheelwrights, Blacksmiths, Kennels, Dairy and ancillary buildings.

The restoration now shows the estate buildings set in their former context. Re-installation of machinery and line shafting in the Sawmill, partly demonstrates how this building would have operated around 1900. The Blacksmiths, Wheelwrights, stable and estate workers room are displayed at a similar period while the former stables have been refurbished to provide a Restaurant/Cafe area. On the upper floor the former threshing barn provides an important conference/gallery space with smaller meeting rooms and cloakrooms.

Photographs © Graham Gaunt Photowork

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