Tregothnan Drive

The approach to Tregothnan

The approach to Tregothnan

The Drive The House The Garden The Nursery The Park The Estate

The drive runs from Tregothnan House to Tresillian, over a distance of approximately 4 miles. It was built in the early part of the 19th century to improve the travelling for the 1st Earl of Falmouth and his guests between Tregothnan and the outside world via its connection at Tresillian to the Truro - Grampound Turnpike, which had opened in 1754 and was one of the first Turnpike roads in Cornwall.

From the House, the first part leads on through amenity woodlands largely laid out to Repton's original plans. The first mile was straightened in the 1860's to give the fashionable approach and vista, the drive formerly curving away to the East. The top of the drive is more than 75 metres above sea level, from the end of the straight the drive starts to fall more on a carefully engineered gradient, gradually falling 20 metres until it passes under the The Bridge at Mether Lane, carrying the St. Michael Penkivel - Tressillian road.

The Drive The House The Garden The Nursery The Park The Estate

From here the drive descends more rapidly down to the river level. The river at this point is tidal so at sea level and effectively 70 metres below Tregothnan House. Here the drive joins an old road which formerly ran at river level both directions. The Drive follows the Northerly route. The southerly route (not part of the drive) follows the shoreline round to Ferryside and The Ferryhouse and the Foot Ferry to Malpas (a popular place for boat trips to Falmouth), then on to the Tregothnan Boat House and Tregothnan Deer Park and then round to the ponds at Lamorran.

Below, on the river bank, are the remains of a limekiln. Limekilns were formerly of great importance to the local farms, as limestone being imported from south Devon was brought in by river and burnt for both agricultural and building use as a soil improver and cement.

The Drive passes the sluiced Merther Pond formed by damming a small stream which rises from several springs around Merther. Similar ponds can be seen in the picturesque St. Clement across the river, Tresemple Pond, the smaller Pencalenick pond & Kiggon Pond formed from damming the Trevella Stream.

The Drive runs along side the Tresillian River

The Drive runs along side the Tresillian River

The land around St Clement is part of the Duchy of Cornwall's Pencalenick Estate. The original mansion house was built by the Foote Family. The house was leased upon the death of Samuel Foote and the Estate was sold to Johnson Vivian Esq. 1758. In the 1880s Michael Williams Esq. purchased the estate, built the current house and demolished the old Mansion house in which Mr John Vivian had lived. The Estate was purchased by the Duchy in the 1930's and Pencalenick house is now used as a school. The impressive 1880's greenhouse was recently moved to Heligan.

Below the house there is an old Coal Wharf via which Pencalenick originally obtained many of its heavier supplies. This quay gives a hint as to the more industrialised past of many of the rivers on the south coast of Cornwall. All of the estates had their own quays which allowed for the transport of bulky cargoes such as coal, limestone, stone and timber. Nowadays the use of the river is primarily leisure based with fishermen, birdwatchers and pleasure boaters being the main users. The river has in recent years produced successful runs of Sea Trout from May until August, and in a summer spate can expect Salmon. At low water extensive mud flats are exposed, much of the mudflats are due to siltings of earlier extensive mine workings.

The woodland along the side the drive from Merther Pond is coppiced on rotation and designated an SSSI. Much of the coppiced timber is still burnt for charcoal, and some used to produce tanbark for tanning. Behind the village of Tresillian the remains of former quays are visible including the County Wharf and the remnants of the coal wharf and a former maltings, illustrating again the much more industrialised former uses of the river.

The Final approach to Tresillian Lodge

The Final approach to Tresillian Lodge

Finally the drive makes an impressive straight run on a gentle gradient to Tresillian Lodge. Passing through the Lodge the drive meets the former Truro - Grampound Turnpike now known as the A390.

Tresillian Lodge is unusual for Cornwall in that it is built of yellow London Stock brick with a stucco facade. Above the massive oak doors there is a moulded stucco Boscawen Family Crest.

The Tresillian Lodge

The Tresillian Lodge

The Drive The House The Garden The Nursery The Park The Estate

Finally the drive makes an impressive straight run on a gentle gradient to Tresillian Lodge. Passing through the Lodge the drive meets the former Truro - Grampound Turnpike now known as the A390.

Tresillian Lodge is unusual for Cornwall in that it is built of yellow London Stock brick with a stucco facade. Above the massive oak doors there is a moulded stucco Boscawen Family Crest.





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