Burncoose Gardens and Nursery // Redruth

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Burncoose Woodland Gardens
Burncoose Woodland Gardens

Burncoose Nurseries and Garden are situated at Gwennap, not far from Redruth. The house and gardens are the oldest part of the Caerhays Estate, which is best known for the faux castle and gardens near Mevagissey.

Burncoose Gardens

The estate was purchased at the beginning of the 18th century by the Williams family when they moved from Wales. At the very forefront of the Cornish mining boom, the Williams built a fortune through the 18th and 19th century. At one point the family employed over 10,000 workers and is is said that the world price of copper was set in the Burncoose office.

Burncoose Gardens

The Williams still own Burncoose, meaning it has been in the family for more than 300 years. Development of the gardens did not really begin until almost a century after the house was built. In fact, most of the garden took shape during the late 19th and early 20th centuries under the stewardship of a Mrs Powys Rogers, daughter of J.M. Williams of Caerhays. Given the close ties with Caerhays it is maybe not that surprising the two gardens have a certain family resemblance.

Burncoose House

Consisting of around 30 acres, the gardens are a mix of woodland, lanes, grassy areas and ponds. Particularly known for the Camellias, Magnolias and Rhododendrons, these are perhaps at their best along the main drive to the house. Notable specimens include the Magnolia spenderi diva 'Burncoose' and the Camellias 'Monica Dance' and 'Burncoose Apple Blossom'. Many of these were bred by Arnold Dance, Burncoose's head gardener for over 40 years.

Available as a wedding venue, the grade II listed Burncoose house sits at the head of a lawn with a sundial beyond which lies a ha-ha. During the spring, the woods just beyond the house are one of the best places to see bluebells in Cornwall making this a highlight of the gardens calendar.

Burncoose Bluebells

Close by is the pond, ringed with Japanese maples. Also worth keeping a lookout for are a pair of monkey puzzle trees - said to be some of the tallest in England.

The walled gardens at the heart of the estate are now the site of Burncoose Nursery which produce a vast range of ornamental and exotic plants. Formerly the Southdown Nursery in Redruth the company moved here in 1984 and has become one of the biggest UK plant mail order businesses. This reputation has been built on quality and Burncoose have won numerous gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show over the years.

Burncoose Nursery

The nursery and gardens are well signposted off the A393 Redruth to Penryn road. Amazingly, the gardens are open to the public for free!