Enys, the Sleeping Beauty of Cornish Gardens, abandoned for 60 years, now slowly awakens. The tranquil gardens blend into the surrounding woods; in early May, the famous field of English bluebells brings visitors from afar.
Enys is believed to be the oldest garden in Cornwall, and truly is the Sleeping Beauty of Cornish gardens.
The Gardens occupy a small wooded valley between Penryn and Mylor, and surround the Mansion House and its courtyard of farm buildings. Approaching down the main drive through fields, there are wonderful views of Falmouth to the right before the drive, vanishing into woods, leads to the car park. Even here there are few hints of the unique world that awaits.
The centrepiece of the site is the Mansion House, built around 1830 to replace an earlier house destroyed by fire. It was lived in up to about 1950, when the site was largely abandoned. Since 2010, the current owners have gradually begun restoring the Gardens and buildings, while respecting the legacy of earlier times. The Gardens have been taken in hand, and new plantings have created areas with diverse characters. Perhaps the greatest glory of the Gardens is Parc Lye in early May, which becomes a huge field of English bluebells, and draws crowds of visitors. But there is much else to see then and at other times.
After 60 years, the buildings were in considerable disrepair, but in recent years the decline has been arrested, though little else has been done. As a result, the visitor will see the heart of an historic Estate looking much as it would have been more than one hundred years ago; a stroll round the buildings and tranquil gardens is not to be forgotten. At the present time, the Mansion House is open during some of the events, but not on a regular basis.
What you will find at Enys:
• natural gardens fitting into the surrounding woodlands
• a web of pathways through the Gardens for children of all ages to explore
• a small cafe serving light bites, cakes, cream teas, and other refreshments
• a friendly welcome from our staff and volunteers
• many features to discover, like the magnificent Broadwalk, and intriguing Stumpery
• towering mature trees from around the world
• a programme of events throughout the season, particularly Bluebell Week in early May
• ancient Estate buildings gradually awakening from a long sleep
• a place for your wedding reception!
What you won’t find at Enys:
• contemporary buildings – there is no visitor centre, restaurant or shop
• children’s play areas - apart from 30 acres of gardens
• red-roped rooms of antiques in a frozen facsimile of olden times
• traffic noise – apart from vehicles visiting the site