The Season Of Mists and… Torrential Rain

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Whilst the cow, or whatever, was churning up our lawn we were near Torpoint, in Cornwall.

I’d been determined to fit in one more National Trust visit before the portcullis came down for the season and this was it. Even though the weather was quite dreadful. We marshalled our energies in the cafe with a spot of light lunch.


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It may have been wet but it was still relatively mild. We sat under the covered walkway of a pavilion, identical to the one mirrored in our view across the front lawn. The wind whipped up everything that wasn’t tied down. Napkins, a crisp packet, the plan of the grounds, I had to get up and chase them all.


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In the house, photographs are allowed but no flash.


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It wasn’t easy in the poor light of the day, but this one gives you a feel for the character and opulence of the interior.

The house was built for Sir William Carew between 1711 and 1721 and ever since has continued as the primary residence of the Carew family who have owned the estate since the mid-16th century. Sir John Carew Pole gave the house and formal gardens into the care of the National Trust in 1961 on the understanding that the family could continue to reside there. Currently Sir Richard Carew Pole, a former president of the Royal Horticultural Society, lives there with his family. (From Wikipedia)


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 The main lawn, leading down to the woodlands and the banks of the River Lynher.


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The Woodland Garden is separate from the house, but NT members have free access. There are many spring flowering shrubs (we’ll have to come back..) but at this time of year magnificent autumn colour too.


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 Including an Acer glade


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 And my new found autumn favourites, fading hydrangeas

 It was about this point, the farthest from the house that we could possibly be, that the rain came down in stair rods. Within seconds we were drenched.


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 Which was a shame because having found this glorious little spot by the river I’d have been happy to linger.


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 The view back to the house from the other end of the long vista.


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 On its west side, topiary and clipped hedges form the main feature. There is a lovely ‘summer’ garden hidden away beyond the right hand hedge, going over now but packed with perennials. Another reason to return.


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Just time for the delightful knot garden.. before a rapid retreat back to the shelter of the car.


2018-02-16T17:46:11+00:00November 7th, 2013|Tags: |


  1. Em November 7, 2013 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    Fabulous place – thanks for the great tour. It’s only rained here twice today…..whoopeee!

    • Jessica November 7, 2013 at 5:14 pm - Reply

      I went out to dig up the last of the potatoes and the heavens opened! The vegetable garden is a quagmire. It’s horrible working in these conditions.

      • islandthreads November 7, 2013 at 5:18 pm - Reply

        you have my sympathy, Frances

        • Jessica November 7, 2013 at 5:41 pm - Reply

          Thanks Frances, I knew you’d understand!

  2. rabbitquilter November 7, 2013 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    What lovely house and gardens. My favourite NT house is Cotehele I could happily move in there!! No rain here – yet!!!

    • Jessica November 7, 2013 at 5:20 pm - Reply

      Yes, I love Cotehele too. They open the Great Hall in the run up to Christmas for the huge dried flower garland that hangs from the roof. I shall probably go and see that.

  3. Simone November 7, 2013 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    At least the plants look lush and vibrant in the rain! It will be lovely to see again when you return there in the spring.

    • Jessica November 7, 2013 at 5:23 pm - Reply

      The woodland garden should look fantastic then, definitely a return trip. Having checked the fences around our own garden first…

  4. Jo November 7, 2013 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    It looks really lovely. One thing for visiting on a rainy day is that it looks as though you had the place to yourselves.

    • Jessica November 7, 2013 at 5:30 pm - Reply

      The house was heaving, mostly with children (half term). Another reason for only getting one useable shot. But outside, as soon as the rain started they all scattered!

  5. steph@woolythyme November 7, 2013 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    a rainy overcast day really provides the BEST photos…you did a lovely job of capturing the essence here….can’t wait for the spring return shots.

    • Jessica November 7, 2013 at 5:46 pm - Reply

      I’ve noticed that taking close up photos particularly. Sunlight often casts much of the shot into dark shadow. Thanks Steph!

  6. Amy at love made my home November 7, 2013 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    So beautiful, but you know that I love NT places! I think that the photo of the library is very good, I know how hard it is to take these interior shots – trust me, it takes me loads to get one that is slightly less fuzzy than the others! – but they do actually come out better than with a flash. The grounds look beautiful too, some of the trees are wonderful colours. Have a look for your local NT place as it might be open in December all dressed up for Christmas! xx (p.s. I’m not sponsored, I promise!!)

    • Jessica November 7, 2013 at 5:51 pm - Reply

      I’m not finding many down here that are open, apart from Cotehele and then only the one room. But I will have a closer look! Thanks Amy. Mike took the library shot and I think annoyed the volunteer because it took so long..

  7. Serendipity November 7, 2013 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    What a wonderful place. It looks so cosy and inviting inside.

    • Jessica November 7, 2013 at 5:54 pm - Reply

      It was cosy inside. Very much a lived in home, with all the books on the ottoman. If they’d had the fire lit I’d have been staying!

  8. islandthreads November 7, 2013 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    looks lovely Jessica, shame about the rain but I guess that kept most other visitors away which is a form of compensation, that seat by the river does look enticing, the thing about wet though it very often makes the colours more vibrant with stronger contrasts, beautiful photos, I especially like sixth one down with the small golden tree, thanks for sharing, Frances

    • Jessica November 7, 2013 at 6:03 pm - Reply

      It’s a gorgeous shape that tree, isn’t it. Possibly a tulip tree, but I don’t know the full name.
      I like the way they left it as a specimen tree, in splendid isolation.

  9. Sue@GLAllotments November 7, 2013 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    It looks beautiful in spite of the weather. Love the autumn colour!

    • Jessica November 7, 2013 at 6:08 pm - Reply

      I have ended up in a lot of woodland gardens this year, looking for inspiration and ideas. They do come into their own now and I definitely need more autumn colour.

  10. Cathy November 7, 2013 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    There must be lots of us who do this last minute dash before winter opening hours – although more properties are opening throughout the year now, I am pleased to say. Not been to many in the SW though so this is a new one to me. Shame you didn’t ‘do’ the gardens before the house – you might have missed those stair rods!

    • Jessica November 7, 2013 at 6:16 pm - Reply

      Antony is quite tucked away. We should have done it the other way round, true, but I wanted a leisurely stroll around the gardens without feeling the need to rush back somewhere. There were so many people around, the house was by timed ticket entry. But we gardeners are hardy souls, are we not!

  11. snowbird November 7, 2013 at 6:14 pm - Reply

    What a shame you were rained out, that spot by the river does look lovely. I love that acer, what amazing colours, and I think the box hedging is gorgeous. I really enjoyed seeing this place.xxxx

    • Jessica November 7, 2013 at 6:21 pm - Reply

      Thanks snowbird.
      I could have sat by the river for hours!

  12. Freda November 7, 2013 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    Wonderful photographs of this very elegant place. That library, with a fire and a glass of something nice, looks like my idea of heaven!

    • Jessica November 7, 2013 at 6:32 pm - Reply

      My thoughts exactly!

  13. frayed at the edge November 7, 2013 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    It looks a wonderful place to visit, and the autumn colours are stunning. I love the seat by the river – what a pity you couldn’t sit and enjoy the view.

    • Jessica November 7, 2013 at 6:33 pm - Reply

      If we go back on a warm day next summer I’ll go there first and bag it!

  14. Denise November 7, 2013 at 6:35 pm - Reply

    I could just fancy swanning around in a crinoline in a place like that! Beautiful, sweeping gardens.

    • Jessica November 7, 2013 at 9:25 pm - Reply

      Not quite crinoline, but plenty of pictures of ladies in big silk skirts. Can you still swan in jeans?

  15. Rosie November 7, 2013 at 6:43 pm - Reply

    What a super place to visit, even in the rain it looks stunning. I hope you go back in the spring or summer when the weather is better – I love the library and the knot garden:)

    • Jessica November 7, 2013 at 9:27 pm - Reply

      I was intrigued by that beautiful golden tulip shaped tree, which looks just like yours. Do you know what it is?

      • Rosie November 7, 2013 at 10:10 pm - Reply

        It certainly looks very like our tree – which is absolutely bare of leaves now! I’ve tried to enlarge your photo but can’t get it large enough to see the shape of the leaves but it certainly has the shape of the tulip tree or liriodendron:)

        • Jessica November 7, 2013 at 10:23 pm - Reply

          I would say almost certainly liriodendron. The leaves are sort of blunt sycamore shaped, if that makes sense. Thanks Rosie!

  16. Denise November 7, 2013 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    LOVE blue hydrangeas. I use to dry mine and use at Christmas – I have sprayed them too but prefer the natural.

    • Jessica November 7, 2013 at 9:28 pm - Reply

      The one in the photo looks like it comes ready sprayed. But you’re right. Natural is best.

  17. Sarah November 7, 2013 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    We have often passed Antony House but never been there. It looks so lovely and Mike’s picture of the library looks so cosy. The autumn colours and the walk by the river look so good what a shame the rain brought your trip to a close.
    Sarah x

    • Jessica November 7, 2013 at 9:37 pm - Reply

      It’s not so far from here, we’ll go back in the Spring. We also wanted to visit Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s place in Plymouth for lunch, so need to allow time for that too!

  18. countrysidetales November 7, 2013 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    For just a second I thought this was your new Country Pad….

    • Jessica November 7, 2013 at 9:37 pm - Reply

      Ho Ho Ho

  19. Vera November 7, 2013 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    Looked lovely even in the rain, and no mud anywhere, unlike my patch out front of our cottage in France, the mud having been encouraged to grow into a mucky mess by our feathered flock of various types of chickens, ducks and geese!

    • Jessica November 7, 2013 at 9:57 pm - Reply

      Nope, no mud.
      But rather too quiet now you come to mention it. At the very least I’d have to have peacocks on the lawn 🙂

  20. wherethejourneytakesme November 7, 2013 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    I am really getting into topiary at the moment after inheriting some clipped conifers at the cottage. It looks like a great place to spend an afternoon – I would have to take my sketchbook.

    • Jessica November 7, 2013 at 10:00 pm - Reply

      Definitely a sketchbook.
      Sadly I inherited only one yew, which I have now rendered skeletal. If it survives I may be a topiarist yet!

  21. Wendy November 7, 2013 at 9:00 pm - Reply

    I loved discovering Antony. I’ve never been there – when we visit Cornwall we always stay near Penzance and don’t venture far (although we did make a special trip to Cotehele once). But Antony looks worth the drive one day. I’d like to wander around the Woodland Garden and spend some time by the river.

    • Jessica November 7, 2013 at 10:10 pm - Reply

      The Woodland Garden is lovely and I don’t think we saw it all. Between the rain and Mike’s hankering after watching a warship in the estuary we had to leave far too soon. The southernmost end of Cornwall would be my preference too, but lately I’m discovering many more places closer to home.

  22. nataliescarberry November 8, 2013 at 2:48 am - Reply

    What a lovely place. Thanks for taking me along with you! I’m sorry it was so rainy while you were there. I hope dryer days are on the way. Blessings, Natalie 🙂

    • Jessica November 8, 2013 at 11:33 am - Reply

      You’re welcome!
      The weather forecast is just more rain for the next few days. We do live in one of the wettest parts of the country though. Days working out in the garden will be a real bonus now, I’m thinking it’s pretty well done till Spring.

      • nataliescarberry November 9, 2013 at 3:22 am - Reply

        Bless your heart. You and I live in opposite climes it seems. Rain is almost always a blessed event here. I hope you involuntary incarceration at least gives you more time for dreamin’ and schemin’ for the new spring. Blessings, Natalie 🙂

        • Jessica November 9, 2013 at 11:13 am - Reply

          Dreamin’, schemin’ and a few winter hobbies in between.
          I’ve been envious of Texas weather ever since good ole JR Ewing. They were always eating outside! Breezy though..

  23. Suzanne Dutchess County, NY, USA November 8, 2013 at 3:42 am - Reply

    Lovely photos. So envious! I do hope you’ll go back in spring for all the spring blooms.
    Sorry the rain shortened your visit. Thanks for sharing the ins and all the outs.

    • Jessica November 8, 2013 at 11:39 am - Reply

      I’m sure we will. They have a lot of magnolias, camellias etc. I shall be looking out varieties to put in the woods here.
      How is your hand? Recovering I hope.

      • Suzanne Dutchess County, NY, USA November 9, 2013 at 2:16 am - Reply

        I will be a couple of weeks, it’s sore and cumbersome but coming along. What garden work didn’t get done will have to wait. Thanks for the well wishing.

        • Jessica November 9, 2013 at 11:00 am - Reply

          At least you have a suitably autumnal cast. It’s a bummer if you can’t do any sewing either though. Get well soon!

  24. Helene November 8, 2013 at 4:12 am - Reply

    What a lovely place to visit, they really did it in style back then, these old English estates:-) And your photos are beautiful as always, the rain actually makes them better with crisper colours, only problem is the wet photographer behind the camera but what don’t we endure for some great photos?!
    My garden has had more than enough rain to last me for ages, it would be great if the weather could take a hint and send the rain somewhere else for a while!

    • Jessica November 8, 2013 at 11:44 am - Reply

      Yes, my garden is officially unworkable now. We were out looking for candidates for GBBD yesterday.. it’s going to be a short post!

  25. Pauline November 8, 2013 at 8:46 am - Reply

    We visited Antony quite a number of years ago and it was pouring down then too! We were too early to go into the house but they took pity on us trying to shelter from the rain and opened early. It is lovely house with a real lived in feel, we went in the summer, but I think a spring visit would be wonderful.

    • Jessica November 8, 2013 at 11:52 am - Reply

      These days the house is controlled by volunteers who take no prisoners, as we discovered when attempting to retrace our steps at one point. This is, apparently, totally against the rules. No, we would have to go all the way back to the main entrance, get new timed tickets and come back in again at the front. Needless to say, we didn’t bother.

  26. BadPenny November 8, 2013 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    How lovely. I do like a good knot garden. You’ll have to go back & enjoy that bench & view in good weather.

    • Jessica November 9, 2013 at 12:11 am - Reply

      We will!

  27. CJ November 8, 2013 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    It’s beautiful. What stunning gardens. I wish I had someone to wander round NT properties with, it makes such a wonderful day. I really like your interior shot, beautiful light, very atmospheric. The river is magnificent – really wide. Maybe you’ll get to go back in drier weather.

    • Jessica November 9, 2013 at 12:27 am - Reply

      The light was really tricky inside the house, in some places it was very dark indeed. These days we’d be deploying a lot of white paint!

  28. Janice Cooke (@jabblog) November 8, 2013 at 10:12 pm - Reply

    Beautiful shots. Hope you’ve not taken any harm from your drenching.

    • Jessica November 9, 2013 at 12:30 am - Reply

      Thanks Janice. So far so good… but I wish I’d not left the brolly in the car.

  29. knitsofacto November 8, 2013 at 11:48 pm - Reply

    It’s always a joy to catch up with your posts Jessica, and the last three are no exception, I just wish I could match your wit in my comment, but the tooth thing has deprived me of what little wit I had just now. I will say I love fading hydrangeas too 🙂

    • Jessica November 9, 2013 at 12:41 am - Reply

      Oh Annie, I do hope you recover soon. Tooth pain is awful. I am a total wimp and had to be sedated last time. x

  30. Janet/Plantaliscious November 9, 2013 at 9:12 am - Reply

    Shame about the rain, you will have to head back in Spring, just for us 😉 The acer glade has made me pine – just a little – for Westonbirt. Even on a bad year the Autumn colour there is magical. Here, it is still mild, I am still picking raspberries, and we haven’t had as much rain as you, but the leaves are falling off without colouring first. We appear to be skipping lightly over Autumn and will presumably jump straight in to Winter 🙁

    • Jessica November 9, 2013 at 11:45 am - Reply

      I love Westonbirt. I have planted three acers so far and want to put in more. The storms ripped a lot of leaves off the native trees before they coloured up, and it’s been a bit hit and miss here too. No frosts yet.

  31. haggiz November 9, 2013 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    What a beautiful place to visit, the rooms look cosy despite being grand and the colours on the trees are gorgeous. Julie x

    • Jessica November 9, 2013 at 4:58 pm - Reply

      Hi Julie, hope you are getting your roof sorted out, and that you haven’t had nearly as much rain as us!!

  32. rachel November 10, 2013 at 11:50 am - Reply

    Oh, definitely one for next year! I hadn’t known about it, so thank you for the gorgeous shots.

    • Jessica November 10, 2013 at 4:13 pm - Reply

      I’ll swop it for Knighthayes, now on my list! Thanks Rachel.

  33. Rosie Nixon , Perthshire Photographer November 10, 2013 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    Oh you just have to go back again in the Spring! I loved your interior shot – so atmospheric with those soft lights. Pity about the rain but you’d hardly guess it from the lovely photos.

    • Jessica November 10, 2013 at 9:14 pm - Reply

      Thanks Rosie. We’ve struggled to get rain to come out on photographs, even when trying!

  34. tinyacorns November 10, 2013 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    It looks a wonderful place, I hope you dried out ok!

    • Jessica November 11, 2013 at 9:11 am - Reply

      Hello and welcome to rusty duck.
      I dried out eventually, my own fault for not going properly prepared!

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