Garden Portrait: Godolphin


I first visited the Godolphin Estate in spring 2014 and returned this year in early summer to see what the differences are. Located in a very peaceful part of west Cornwall, the estate includes the Leeds engine house and stack, the remains of the Godolphin family mine. The riverside walk and Godolphin Hill are popular walking trails and from the top of the hill you can see both the north coast (St Ives Bay) and the south coast (Mount Bay), and when you are tired of walking and exploring the ancient gardens with their medieval layout, then pop into the Piggery for cake and coffee.

In April the woodland leading to the house and garden is full of bluebells.


The King’s Garden is the sixteenth century walled privy garden to Godolphin’s state room, the King’s Room.

In April it is a space filled with fresh greens, white and pink, borders of tulips, stocks and fritillaries. Magnolia trees provide welcome shade and cloud-like box hedging lines the gravel paths.


In June blues and purples dominate with spires of lupins and foxgloves and delphiniums

Leaving this delightful walled garden you pass the stables and the house where a divine cobbled courtyard can be found behind ancient doors.

Here you enter the three remaining compartments of the original nine 16th century Tudor design.

In April tulips dominate. Big blowsy ones and unusual colour combinations such as white and green or yellow and green contrast with bright red camellias. The scent of stocks and wallflowers permeate the air close to the pretty blue door in the wall.

In June the borders are full of purple aquilegia, foxgloves, irises, poppies and roses.

And the Gardener’s Potting Shed is a true delight. Click the link for a look inside.



32 Comments Add yours

  1. afairymind says:

    Gorgeous pictures! That looks like a lovely place to visit – in both April and June. 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you. It is a very charming place and quiet too. Be good to take a picnic here.

  2. Sue says:

    Marvellous! Now I’m going. To have to add this place to my list……..

    1. Heyjude says:

      Your list must be verrry long Sue… 😀

      1. Sue says:

        Too right…..

  3. Beautiful. On a day where it has been absolutely freezing, grey and dismal here, with a wind chill factor of -7 I have really enjoyed seeing these gorgeous blooms. Thanks!

    1. Heyjude says:

      So glad they warmed you up 🙂

  4. Sherri says:

    Lovely to see the difference in April and June. Your photographs are so beautiful Jude, a gorgeous garden portrait indeed 🙂 xx

    1. Heyjude says:

      This is a quiet place, but most charming. And I adore the potting shed!

      1. Sherri says:

        Me too…and yes, I meant to say that as I know how much you love your potting sheds 🙂

  5. Sue Slaght says:

    The purple flowers in the vibrant green forest is as if one walked into a fairy tale Jude.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Bluebell woods are wonderful in late spring Sue, but awfully difficult to photograph and capture that carpet of bluey-violet. Thanks for liking this.

  6. Lucid Gypsy says:

    I’m a real summer person Jude because I hate to be cold, but spring in a garden like this is heavenly. I love to see the early signs of the season changing, the colours of spring, blue and yellow lighting up the gardens and hedgerow. I can hear the air at Godolphin through your photos and I love it. That old curved door is amazing too 🙂

  7. debandtoby says:

    Loved the pix, especially the antique and blue doors.
    Was there any mention of the Godolphin Arabian, one of the progenitors of the Thoroughbred breed?

  8. What a feast of flowers after a Queensland snow storm! I’m just settling in again after yet another transition.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I’d heard about the Arctic weather hitting you. Hope you’ve got a big wood-burner and lots of warm clothing!

      1. 3 doonahs, a beret down over my ears, and this morning I walked the dogs in my dressing gown because J was still asleep where I left my windcheater. The fire is alight non stop and the living room is cosy.

        1. Heyjude says:

          Sounds grim. I hate really cold weather unless it is the blue sky kind. Keep warm!

  9. restlessjo says:

    So many gorgeous photos in here, Jude. An absolute flounce of loveliness! Love the purple borders and the pale lupins and that fabulous door. Not to mention the twirl of tulips! 🙂 There’s a severe imbalance of gardens in this country. All the ones I want to visit are down south!
    I think you should do a Garden challenge after your benches. It’d be pretty popular, I think, and would give a boost to this site. 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Jo. I think the south-east is probably the best region for gardens, but the most expensive place to live! A garden challenge. Now that IS an interesting thought…

      1. restlessjo says:

        I’d better stay in the cheap north and come visiting my wealthy southern friends 🙂 🙂

        1. Heyjude says:

          You won’t be visiting me then 😉

        2. Heyjude says:

          two reasons:
          1. I don’t live in the south-east
          2. I’m not wealthy 😦

          but apart from that you know you are always welcome. “Mi casa es su casa”

        3. restlessjo says:

          I started to reply to your e last night. Got part way and thought ‘this is a load of tosh!’. Will have another go when I’ve done my walk. 🙂

        4. Heyjude says:

          No worries. 🙂 Hope you have some sun up there today.

        5. restlessjo says:

          Rain! Sun! Wind! Awesome Murray! 🙂

  10. pommepal says:

    Love to see the comparison between the seasons Jude and the photos are superb. I do wish we had more gardens in Australia to visit. There used to be an open garden scheme and I loved going around the private gardens that were opened just for a couple of days. But, for whatever reason, it is no longer going.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I haven’t even started on the Open Gardens scheme! Except for the local one. I love to have a look around the smaller gardens and get ideas. Thing is I have so many ideas I really need an enormous garden, but that’s not going to happen 🙂

      1. pommepal says:

        Going to all the gardens is a real inspiration.

  11. janesmudgeegarden says:

    I followed your link on Dan’s latest post to see your photos of Godolphin in June. It’s all so lovely, with those amazing tulips. I rarely see anything like those here, even to order online. The borders are so colourful and full. If I eventually get mine to be half as pretty as that, I’ll be over the moon!

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