St Mabyn Garden Club
As members and friends stepped out of the coach, we were greeted by a marvelous array of beautiful trees clothed in many shades of green. The grounds of Arlington Court have a very natural feel about them accentuated by groups of foliage and the curved driveways and paths revealing a vista of open green meadows. Due to the rain at the start of the visit the exploration of the house was a priority. Arlington Court is an graceful house full of memorabilia, much of which has been collected by Chichester family’s marine travels all over the world. Although the house is reminiscent of a bygone era of wealth and elegance it retains the feeling of a lived in family home. The house and estate after 500 years of ownership by the Chichester family was handed over to the National Trust in 1949.
The Stable Block is the jewel in the crown and houses a magnificent collection of carriages including a coach in which it was possible for two passengers to lie flat for overnight travel; possibly the forerunner of the sleeper car on a train! A recent acquisition is the huge Speaker’s State Coach, which has been used by the Speaker of the House of Commons on State occasions. It was built circa 1698 for King William III and has been painstakingly restored retaining original structure and
materials where possible, revealing the intricate gilded carving of the bodywork and vibrant colours of the painted panels.
The gardens were created in the picturesque style of early 19th century with the large lawns leading into the paths where the many varieties of plants and shrubbery can be appreciated. The Kitchen Garden has now been fully restored and now fruit,
vegetables and beautiful flowers are growing in abundance.
Though the weather had not been too kind for our visit to Arlington Court, it was agreed that it had been very enjoyable and many members are now looking forward to September for the club’s visit to Marsh Villa Gardens, Par.
For more details for the Marsh Villa trip, and our programme of speakers for 2011/12 contact Angela Bunney 01208 841511.