Dedicated to Doss Rowett, nee Maddern of Australia, whose Great-Grandfather, George Maddern 1824 - 1894 was head gardener on the estate. Two sons, George H & William Edward worked with him . George H. became head gardener after his father retired whilst William emigrated to Australia. The Maddern family, together with their many staff were responsible for the early plantings in the gardens.
1292: 1451 : 1668 : Written as "Trewen " in various documents and leases relating to Madron parish. It first appears as a place-name & house on Nordens map of the Penwith Hundred produced in the 1600's. The spelling is difficult to decipher but looks to be Teeu-ryn. This spelling may well have resulted from Nordens interpretation of what he heard. This map also shows that the land at that time was in the ownership of the Thoms family.
The Ordnance Survey map of 1809 shows it as Trewidden but only as a place name. However , the house was built before the time of Edward Bolitho's first marriage in 1830 and it is probable that he moved there then. The dwellings and estate named Trewidden were recorded in some detail for the tithe apportionment valuation in 1839- 1840. Edward Bolitho was certainly responsible for the 1848 additions and improvements and his intention may have been to make the building look like it had gradually evolved over time
Grade 11 listed, as are the head
gardener's cottage & lodge. The garden & grounds cover 37acres,
south sloping set 270 ft above sea level. The ground is metamorphosed Mylor
slate with a covering
of acid soil. The average rainfall is 45-50", temperature zone C.
George Maddern 1824-1894 was the first head gardener followed by his son George H Maddern. The first George Maddern became well enough known to merit an obituary in the Gardeners' Chronicle upon his death in 1894, since he had been "for a period of forty-five years gardener to the Bolitho family at Trewidden, and during that long time he carried out great alterations and improvements in the garden, one of the prettiest in the west of England."
The Fern Pit has
utilized part of these workings for what is claimed to be the best grouping
of Dicksonia antarctica [Tree Ferns] in the Northern
Hemisphere. Charles Williams of
Caerhays, who had married Thomas Bedford's daughter Mary, was tempted to
grow the large leaf rhododendrons in some of the shallower pits as
he felt it was an ideal position for them. There is a lovely quote from
him in 1927, alluding to both the gardening practices of
his time and to the previous mine workings which had left
behind harmful mineral waste. He said he thought it would be
make a change from other gardens "............ where the main idea seems to be to bed them out like Brussels
The one disadvantage is that they are apt to get their roots into some
form of mineral, which may have disastrous effects.......................".
Thomas Bedford Bolitho bought a house in 1882 on the River Dart in Devon. It was from here that he introduced plants of the Chilean Nut, Gevuina avellana to Trewidden. These were to become what the Gardeners' Chronicle thought to be "probably equal to any other in the country".In 1930, Edward Thurston in his book "British and Foreign Trees & Shrubs in Cornwall. also noted "....several trees in fruit [Gevuina avellana] at Trewidden in September , the largest, planted in 1892, 35ft 6 in high " There is still a specimen in the Mowhay Garden.
The North Walk lies to
the rear of the house, and it is here that probably one of the oldest
magnolia trees is growing .A specimen of Magnolia hypoleuca :
'Japanese Big leaved Magnolia' It was planted in 1897 by
Photos Copyright 2003 George Pritchard
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George P Design