Mysterious Garden Unearthed and Restored

HeliganLostGardensDescribed as one of the most mysterious estates in the whole of England, the Heligan estate is located in Cornwall and was once the seat of the Tremayne family. Its fame derives from the magnificent gardens surrounding the estate (the “Lost Gardens of Heligan”), and their mysterious resurrection.

Hidden Room, Forgotten Message

This excerpt from the website tells the tale of its resurrection beautifully, “At the end of the nineteenth century [the estate’s] thousand acres were at their zenith, but only a few years later bramble and ivy were already drawing a green veil over this “Sleeping Beauty”. After decades of neglect, the devastating hurricane of 1990 should have consigned the Lost Gardens of Heligan to a footnote in history.

Instead, events conspired to bring us here and the romance of their decay took a hold on our imaginations. Our discovery of a tiny room, buried under fallen masonry in the corner of one of the walled gardens, was to unlock the secret of their demise. A motto etched into the limestone walls in barely legible pencil still reads “Don’t come here to sleep or slumber” with the names of those who worked there signed under the date – August 1914. We were fired by a magnificent obsession to bring these once glorious gardens back to life in every sense and to tell, for the first time, not tales of lords and ladies but of those “ordinary” people who had made these gardens great, before departing for the Great War.”

Since then, a dedicated team has developed the estate once more into a beautiful and mysterious place to visit and enjoy.

HeliganEstateHow it Began

The estate’s gardens were developed 200 plus years ago and featured strange and beautiful structures and surprising garden features. Also notable are the historic and exotic plants that can be found there, a treasury of beauties from around the world. Some of these plants are actually over 150 years old.

Today’s caretakers are committed to caring for the “Lost Garden of Heligan” in the manner that its original caretakers would have, growing heritage fruits, vegetable, and herbs, using all the wood felled on the property, conserving resources, etc.

Lost Valley & Ancient Woodlands

The area that caught my eye is called the Lost Valley & Ancient Woodlands, about 80 acres containing what they call woodland sculptures. There is a path visitors can walk to view the spectacular scenery and mysterious sculptures that blend seamlessly into the natural surroundings.

For example, here is the “Mud Maid”:




“The Giant’s Head”:


“Grey Lady”:




There are a couple more whose names I don’t know and was unable to find them:



These wonderful statues look like they were created, at least in part, through the unique and beautiful art of moss gardening. That’s a fascinating topic too, so if you’re interested in more information on that, just use a search engine to find “moss gardening” articles and pictures.

If you’d like to explore more of Heligan estate and its beautiful gardens, visit their gorgeous website:

Bucket List

Heligan estate with its “Lost Garden” is one of those beautiful and mysterious places that just make you want to visit and get caught up in its spell. I hope to see it one day! How about you?

Til the next time!



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