Mount Edgcumbe Country park lies across the Tamar from Plymouth on the Rame Peninsula and consists of Mount Edgcumbe house itself and the 865 acre country park surrounding it.
The estate was formerly owned by the Earls of Edgcumbe, the estate coming to Sir Piers Edgcumbe of Cotehele, by marriage when, in 1493 he married Joan Durnford heiress to the Durnford family estates which included estates in Plymouth, Maker and Rame. Sir Piers, with permission from Henry VIII, built a deer park in 1539 and his son, Sir Richard Edgcumbe, ordered work to start for a house to be built overlooking the mouth of the Tamar and Plymouth Sound, in 1547.The house, un-like the original family home at Cotehele,was built to take advantage of the views rather than as a more defensive structure built around a courtyard.The house was finished in 1553 and gradually became the main residence of the family by the late 17th century.The house was held for the Royalist side during the English Civil war with the nearby Maker Church tower being fortified by the Royalist garrison. The Banqueting Hall adjoining the House was damaged by the Plymouth Parliamentary forces during an attack in May 1644.
In 1941 the house was hit during a German air raid and was left a gutted shell. The 6th Earl began re-building work in 1958, the house and grounds was sold to Plymouth City Council and Cornwall County Council in 1971, with the family retaining a lease to live there until 1987. The house has been open to the public since 1988 and has been restored to its 18th century style.
Mount Edgcumbe has been renown since the 18th Century for its landscape and gardens. The Earl's Garden was created beside the House in the 18th century whilst the formal gardens lay at the foot of the hill near the village of Cremyll. Originally a "wilderness" garden created in the 17th century it was re-modelled by the Edgcumbe family in the 18th century to form the French, Italian and English gardens. This has been extended in modern times with the addition of the New Zealand and American Gardens. The coastal path runs through the park from Cremyll leading to Rame Head and Whitsand Bay. There is a herd of fallow deer which roam amongst the woodlands and many follies with magnificent views of Plymouth Sound and the River Tamar.
|View from the Main Entrance to Mount Edgcumbe House looking towards Millbrook Lake and the Hamoaze
|View towards Milbrook Lake from the Barrow Car Park, Mount Edgcumbe House.