Home to the Boscawen family, Tregothnan is a rare example of a living and private estate, supporting many families and communities in a protected environment since 1334. The name ‘Tregothnan’ literally means ‘The House at the Head of the Valley’ and remains a private family home to this day.
Tregothnan has the largest historic, botanic garden in Cornwall. Its character was formed by the sixth Viscount Falmouth and his brother – the rector of nearby Lamorran who brought Rhododendrons, rare trees, shrubs and ornamental Camellias into the arboretum two hundred years ago.
Tregothnan has persevered in pioneering botanical firsts, using our expertise to nurture rare plants, shrubs and Camellia sinensis (tea plants) within our unique micro-climate. Eight miles from the coast with the deep sea creek of the Fal Estuary running through the estate, the winter warmth and humid conditions are perfect for our thriving tea plantations, which allows us to grow and produce the most British tea in history.
The first tea gardens in the UK yielded the first major crop for Britain’s first home-grown tea in 2005, creating the ultimate Britishness in every cup. The world’s first true British tea has been heralded as the ‘new Darjeeling.’ Hidden behind the iconic kitchen garden door – the oldest remaining part of the estate dating back to Plantagenet times – you can find the oldest Camellia sinensis plantations from which we hand-plucked the leaves at dawn.
The International Tea Centre proposed by Tregothnan in 1999 has gained support from tea experts and drinkers across the globe. Most tea industry leaders have visited Tregothnan to express interest and support for the first tea centre of its kind, building on the unrivalled tea history of Tregothnan and the UK. Scientists continue to research the worlds number one drink supplied from dozens of varieties thriving in protected environments at Tregothnan. Understanding the chemistry and nature of tea grown in certified organic conditions has proven invaluable to the expansion of the tea gardens. Growing tea in western Europe, including the UK, is fraught with challenges; these are explained in ongoing tea training. Masterclasses are increasingly popular amongst tea drinking enthusiasts as well as entrepreneurs looking to diversify into alternative crops.
The reality is that the ‘new Darjeeling’ is even smaller than the ‘old’ Darjeeling, both tightly constrained by geography and a true microclimate. The International tea centre is the first of its kind and is the national tea research centre for our national drink. Meanwhile, a network of venues creating the most British tea experiences with Tregothnan around the world are popping up from London to Tokyo.
As well as growing English tea and a vast range of plants that create the delicious herbal infusions, a diversity of lands also allows us to produce Cornish Manuka and wildflower honeys, our fine and rare Kea plum jam and sustainable coppiced charcoal. Beautiful British flowers from the Tregothnan gardens are cut for our range of hand-tied seasonal English bouquets. The fabulous Kea plums are protected by trademark to protect the variety for future generations.
Tregothnan’s Wild Escapes offer idyllic cottages full of Cornish character, nestled in peaceful orchard locations on the tidal shores of the River Fal, ‘between the tea and the sea’.
Our passions continue to grow for tea, flowers, experiences, holidays and all the innovative estate produce. We continue to experiment, create and improve, surrounded by the exquisite botanical garden, the source and inspiration of all we do today.