• 4 June 2021 4:53 pm


The 200-year-old walled kitchen garden at Trengwainton* in Cornwall, owned by the National Trust, is set to be fully restored to its former glory, thanks to a £54,000 donation from the Trustees of the former Friends of Probus Garden**.

The generous donation will enable the Trust to plant and grow a wide variety of fruit, vegetables and flowers in the 1.5 acre kitchen garden, which once grew produce for the family home. The kitchen garden will be divided into five different areas and will be both experimental and traditional in the type of fruit, vegetables and flowers that are grown. Outside the walled garden there will be an area of orchard planting using both old and new varieties.

After its initial construction in around 1820 (built to the dimensions of Noah’s arc), the Walled Garden was divided by sloping beds, which aided drainage and plant growth at a time when food production in England was difficult due to a number of years of unusually cold temperatures caused by a volcanic eruption in the Indonesian Islands. With its sloping beds and its geographical position, the Grade II listed walled garden is a nationally important, historical and horticultural asset.

Ian Wright, Head Gardener at Trengwainton, said: “In its day, the kitchen garden was most definitely one of the most important elements of the garden as the family grew a variety of plants which would sustain them throughout the year. The unique nature of the garden with its sloping beds enabled food to be produced even in the wettest months.

“We hope the kitchen garden at Trengwainton will act as an inspirational demonstration garden, showcasing traditional and modern varieties growing side by side. A further aim is for the produce, namely fruit and vegetables, to be used in the Tea House and last, but certainly not least, we hope it will become a wonderful opportunity for the local community to become involved and a great educational resource for local schools.”

Henry Crowther, former Chairman of the Probus Garden’s horticultural sub-committee said: “It is intended that the best examples of the top fruit varieties that were growing at Probus will be part of the new orchards that will be seen at Trengwainton in the future. The theme through out the restoration will be based on the present day Healthy Eating, using the sloping beds to re-learn how to use them effectively for the production of early crops."

Further work will include the re-instatement of Orchard paths and the restoration of the Victorian Bee House, which is a rare surviving example. The bees will be managed by a local beekeeper who will give demonstrations and the bees will aid pollination of the fruit. A new member of staff will manage the garden full time. The Trust estimates that the project will take initially five years to roll out. A further £40,000 will come from the Trust’s own funds to restore the Victorian Glasshouse, built in 1860 by ‘Messenger’. It is the only surviving original glasshouse at Trengwainton. Local contractors, using local materials, will begin work later this year.


  • Trengwainton is open from 11 February to 4 November 10am – 5pm, daily except Fridays and Saturdays (open Good Friday).
  • National Trust and food: The Trust’s position as the country’s largest private landowner, grower, gardener and caterer for visitors means it can tell the whole food story, ‘from plot to plate’. The Trust believes that local food is the best way to make British food sustainable. The Trust wants to help to ‘reconnect’ the food chain between producers and consumers. It wants consumers to both understand the benefits and to enjoy preparing and eating food that comes from a known source and is healthy, tasty and enjoyable. At the same time it wants to see farmers rewarded for producing quality food whilst protecting and enhancing the countryside.
  • Trengwainton is the National Trust’s first and last garden in England.
  • Trengwainton is unique as it is perhaps more favoured for the cultivation of exotic trees and shrubs than any other in mainland Britain.
  • The walled garden contains many species, which cannot be grown in the open anywhere else in the country.
  • Intimate and closely linked to the stream running through its valley, the garden leads up to a terrace and summer house with extensive views of Mount’s Bay and The Lizard.