There are a lot of National Trust properties in Cornwall but Trerice – which is just a few miles outside of Newquay – has to be one of the most ornate. This Elizabethan manor house boasts beautiful interiors from days gone by and the garden outside is lush and tranquil.
Trerice dates back to 1573. The estate with its old medieval house was inherited through marriage by the Arundell family around 700 years ago and, in 1572, John Arundell V – whose father, Sir John Arundell IV, was knighted and served under King Henry VIII – began to demolish the old house and build the manor we see today. Later Arundells – such as Baron Arundell, who aided King Charles I during the English Civil War – made additions to the manor but from the 18th century, the house was barely altered so it has since stood as a time capsule back to the 16th century. The estate stayed in the Arundell family for more than 400 years before the line died out in 1768. It then changed hands a few times, eventually being acquired by the National Trust in 1953.
The fine Dutch-style gables are key features here, as is the barrel-roofed great chamber, which is lit by a huge east window that’s divided by mullions into 576 individual panes of glass. The Tudor interiors are simply stunning, with incredible plasterwork ceilings. And the recreated Tudor knot garden outside is a joy. The grounds and apple orchard – featuring a number of old tree varieties – are well worth a wander. Plus, there’s a Tudor maze to explore. There’s also a pretty tragic ghost story here but you can find that out for yourself.
The National Trust advises visitors to book ahead during ‘busier times like mornings, weekends and school holidays’ if you’re visiting Trerice as this is a popular historical attraction. National Trust members can book for free but non-members need to pay, with the trust ‘turning people away who arrive haven’t booked’. So book ahead and be transported back to a time when Henry VIII sat on the throne and Cornwall was a totally different place.