Side Garden Visit
On a bright summer evening, in contrast to the previous year, we were treated to an escorted tour of Godolphin House a National Trust (NT) property between Helston and Penzance. Our thanks must go to Michael Wingate and his good lady, Mary, for making all the arrangements and to Mandy and Ollie who were our NT guides for the evening, who were thoroughly knowledgeable, informative and enthusiastic about the house and it's gardens.

To give us an insight before the visit, Michael
 wrote in our May newsletter:
Mary and I, as National Trust volunteers at Godolphin, have a great love of the house and the gardens but we do appreciate that it may not be everyone's cup of tea.  The Side Garden at Godolphin is unlike any other garden you will have seen.  

Of course it is possible simply to walk in it and enjoy its tranquility and incidental beauties, but because it is so very strange and ancient, some interpretation may be helpful.  It is truly an historic garden; and it is doubtful that such an early private garden flourishes anywhere else in the British Isles and possibly in Europe.  Research on the Side Garden has cast light on the history of English garden design, not only of the 1580's  but from before 1500 and even of 1300, impossibly early as that may seem.   

The garden layout is still recognisable after seven hundred years.  It includes three compartments from the original nine, which surrounded the 14th century castle built by Alexander Godolghan (original name, later to become Godolphin after many variations).  When the new house was built in 1475 the Godolphins created a new nine square garden to the east , and three of these still remain while the other six now form the paddock.

Look out for the box hedge beside the north-south path in the lowest compartment and the sycamore trees growing on the raised walks, which are all more than 200 years old, and the overgrown ponds, which date back to the 16th and 17th centuries, and possibly earlier when they may have been stocked with fish for the Godolphin kitchens.

      "Are that lot with you?"                                     "I can see nowt of the newt"

"Have you seen my new yoyo?"

Thank you Michael, Mary, Mandy and Ollie