Rooms with a view

From 1 July

Trelissick House opens up one of Cornwall’s finest vistas.

For the first time this summer Trelissick House is opening its doors to visitors five days a week. Sitting on its own peninsula and looking straight down the Fal estuary, from 2 July this offers one of the grandest views in Cornwall.


Thousands of visitors have the long-awaited chance to peek into previously closed rooms, see furniture, paintings and ceramics recently acquired from the Copeland family and take in the far-reaching views.

As part of a trial, a number of rooms in the house will be open Wednesdays to Sundays, 10.30am – 5.30pm from 2 July to 28 September. There is no extra charge for entry but visitors will be asked if they could buy a raffle ticket or make a donation towards conservation projects and the upkeep of the building for future generations.

Trelissick Garden and its parkland have long been famous and much visited by locals and tourists alike, but prior to 2014 there had never been regular access to the house as it remained a private home.

When William and Jennifer Copeland decided to move with their family from the main areas of Trelissick house in 2013 they held a well-publicised country house auction. Here the National Trust purchased many significant items from the house - including a quantity of Spode ceramics - with money raised from donations. Now the Trust has decided to test the opening of five rooms to visitors this year, while options for the long-term use of the building are considered. 

Jon Cummins, Visitor Services and Enterprises Manager said: “Trelissick House is a true gem, but it is not your normal country house experience. What you will see is an honest picture of a house in transition. As you move from room to room this year you’ll find items we have acquired, the auction labels left in place, and others still under cover.

“Trelissick is an intriguing house with an interesting collection and I’m sure it will attract many visitors as we open it regularly for the first time. But it’s the view and setting that provide the biggest story – that’s the reason the house and subsequently the garden were developed here. In my opinion Trelissick occupies one of the finest positions in Cornwall.”

A desirable and prominent residence for centuries, Trelissick House in its current form started life in around 1750 when the Lawrence family built a new house on the site of a large medieval farmhouse - Trelissick means ‘farm of the leader’ in Cornish. Fast forward through several ownerships, the development of the famous gardens and many changes to the house and you arrive at the story of Leonard Cunliffe.

One of Trelissick’s most distinguished owners, Cunliffe was a former Director of the Bank of England and an avid collector. As he sailed past on his yacht, Laranda, in the 1900s he fell in love with Trelissick and in 1918 purchased it. In 1937 he bequeathed Trelissick to his stepdaughter Ida Copeland, whose husband, Ronald, was Chairman of Spode-Copeland, the famous ceramics manufacturer. In 1955 Ida Copeland donated the Trelissick as a whole to the National Trust but retained the use of the house as a family home.

Alongside the house and the ever-changing views, Trelissick has 30 acres of gardens with significant collections of hydrangeas and rhododendrons. It also has large areas of woodland planting and herbaceous borders that provide year-round colour. The wider parkland gives visitors the chance to explore five miles of dog friendly walks with many more panoramic views, narrow creeks and deep woodland.

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