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Our Timeline

Chapter: 1200 - 1766 / 1766 - 1914 / 1914 - 1990 / 1990 - 2000 / 2000 - 2009

Chapter 1 - Early History - 1200 ~ 1766

1200s

Heligan Manor first built.

1569

Sampson Tremayne completed purchase of Heligan.

1603

William Tremayne built Heligan House Jacobean style.

1692

Sir John Tremayne rebuilt the house in William and Mary style using Heligan bricks.

Chapter 2 - Development of Gardens - 1766 ~ 1914

1766 – 1829

Henry Hawkins Tremayne - Squire 1766 ~ 1829

Henry Hawkins constructed the network of rides around the Northern Gardens and throughout the estate. Shelterbelts against SW gales planted and walls of Flower Garden and Melon Yard built.

1829 – 51

John Hearle Tremayne - Squire 1829 ~ 51

Fully functioning Pineapple Pit, Heligan competes for biggest pine against other local estates. Bee Boles constructed. Home farm thriving.

1813

Married Caroline Matilda Lemon
(establishing connection with plant hunters).

1832

The new Long Drive to Heligan House planted with Bethamia fragifera (later Cornus capitata).

1849

Cholera outbreak in Mevagissey.

1851

Hooker Collection of rhododendrons secured for gardens.

1851 – 1901

John Tremayne - Squire 1851 ~ 1901

Development of planting of Northern Gardens and Japanese Garden using new, imported exotic species.

1855

Paxton House built.

1890s

John's son John Claude built Ravine.

1896

Sundial Garden described as having, "The finest herbaceous boarder in England."

1901-1914

John Claude Tremayne - Squire 1901 ~ 14

Continuation of planting Japanese Garden (now Jungle).

1905 – 07

Davidia involucrata planted in Sundial Garden.

1906/07

Italian Garden Built.

Chapter 3 - The Lost Years - 1914 ~ 1990

1914-18

First World War.

Shelterbelt trees cut for war effort.

August 1914

Staff signed signatures on the wall of Thunderbox Room.

1916-19

Heligan House used as Convalescence Hospital for Officers.

1920s – 1930s

House tenanted out.

1939 – 1945

American troops use Heligan House as a base.

1950s – 1960s

House tenanted out.

1973-1974

House converted into flats and sold off.

Chapter 4 - Garden Restoration - 1990 ~ 2000

1990

Derelict gardens discovered by Tim Smit and John Willis (Tremayne descendant).

John Nelson begins clearance.

Philip McMillan Browse, then County Horticultural Advisor becomes involved in restoration. Clearance of Melon Yard.

BTCV group clears Eastern and Western Rides.

1991

Restoration of Italian Garden.

BBC Gardeners' World broadcasts from Heligan.

Cornwall County Council planning permission given to open to the public.

Grant Aid from Countryside Commission.

"Task Force Trees."

The Times quote "The garden restoration of the century".

1992

Lease signed between Tremayne Estate & Heligan Gardens Limited.

Easter – Garden open to public.

Replanted garden shelter belts.

Restored Northern Summerhouse.

Cleared overgrowth from Vegetable Garden.

1993

Clearance of Top Lake in Jungle & building of the boardwalk.

Restored structures in the Melon Yard.

1994

Five Great Gardens of Cornwall founder member.

Restoration of Flower Garden.

First year's planting in Vegetable Garden and Melon Yard.

Acquired pineapple varieties for Pineapple Pit.

1995

Which? Magazine quote "Most recommended garden".

Country Life award "Gardener of the Year".

1996

Restored herbaceous border in Sundial Garden.

The Good Garden Guide award "Outstanding Gardener of the Year".

1997

Opening of Lost Valley & charcoal burning began.

6 part Channel 4 TV documentary, (later awarded Garden Programme of the Year).

"The Lost Gardens of Heligan" by Tim Smit published.

Hosted Centenary Spring Flower Show of Cornwall Garden Society.

Eden project awarded Millennium funding at Heligan.

Private visit from HRH Prince Charles, Duke of Cornwall.

First fruiting of pineapples - One delivered to the Queen for her 50th Wedding Anniversary.

1998

Pencalenick Glasshouse acquired & restored.

Gold Medal at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

First fruits from new vines in vinery.

The Good Guide to Britain award "Garden of the Year".

Wildlife survey begins on Heligan Estate.

Heligan purchases Watering Lane Nursery for Eden Project.

Ice sculpture exhibition commemorating lost gardeners on 80th Anniversary of armistice.

1999

2nd Channel 4 TV series "Return to the Lost Gardens of Heligan", with book "The Complete Works – Secrets Locked in Silence'.

Partner in The Times "Grow Good Food Campaign".

Cornish hedges re-laid in Wider Estate.

Total eclipse of the sun.

"Heligan Wild" book published.

Chapter 5 - This Millennium ~ 2000-2009

2000

Partner in The Times ‘Grow Good Food Campaign".

The Which? Guide to Tourist Attractions.

"Best Outdoor Attractions" 5 star award winner.

"The Heligan Vegetable Bible" by Philip McMillan Browse published.

Opening of Butler's Path.

Vegetable Garden cleared back to original size.

First Heligan Harvest display.

2001

The Eden Project opened.

Tremayne Estate extends lease.

Horsemoor Hide receives first "Live" images from bird boxes.

Propagation from old camellias started.

Rebuilding of Ravine rockery.

"Heligan – a Celebration" by Sue Lewington published.

2002

Queen's Jubilee visit to Heligan stand at CGS Spring Flower Show at Trelissick.

First barn owl chicks viewed on camera from Horsemoor Hide.

Wood Project began.

"A Taste of Heligan – vegetarian & fruit recipes" published.

BBC Gardeners' World vote Heligan "The Nation's Favourite Garden".

2003

"A taste of Heligan – best from the bakery" published.

Propagation Unit opened.

Radio Times "Britain's finest garden". Heligan voted second only to Kew.

"Heligan Harvest" – Sue Lewington.

Sponsorship of local wildlife Pathologist.

Lobbs Farm Shop opens on site.

2004

Jungle boardwalk totally re-built and extended.

Carved Tree Ferns donated from Chelsea Flower Show for New Zealand garden.

"A Taste of Heligan – meat, fish, chicken & game" published.

Wildlife Walks start.

Heligan's first Bat Nights.

First "Big Draw" event at Heligan.

2005

New look-out completed at top of Jungle.

Entire refurbishment of Melon Yard.

"Heligan – Fruit, Flowers and Herbs" by Philip McMillan Browse published.

3 millionth visitor arrived.

Heligan's first children's book "The Mud Maid' by Sandra Horn & Karen Popham published.

"Heligan Days" by Mally Francis published.

Heavy snow fall in November closes gardens for three days.

2006

Heligan Wild Land Management practices implemented.

"The Kitchen Gardens at Heligan – Lost Gardening Principles Rediscovered" published.

"The Giant" children’s book by Sandra Horn and Karen Popham published.

Heligan Wildlife Project featured on BBC TV’s Springwatch programme with Bill Oddie.

New Heligan website goes live.

2007

Thank You Cornwall offer brings 15,000 residents visiting Heligan for free over a 15 day period – initiative wins Cornwall Tourism Gold award.

Creators of The Mud Maid and The Giant, Sue and Pete Hill install a new woodland sculpture – The Grey Lady – on the Woodland Walk.

Access to a new section of the Georgian Ride in the Wider Estate is opened.

Hannibal the Heligan Barn Owl eats his siblings alive on BBC Springwatch.

Heligan features in Cbeebies Autumn watch.

2008

Heligan is granted National Collection Holder Status by Plant Heritage for collection: "Camellias and Rhododendrons Introduced to Heligan pre-1920".

The Heligan Tearoom wins silver Café of the Year at the Cornish Tourism Awards.

BBC Springwatch & Autumnwatch return for an update on Hannibal the Barn Owl.

Heligan Wildlife: On Film is released on DVD to accompany the Heligan Wildlife guide.

On-line travel site Trip Advisor votes Heligan in top ten gardens in Britain.

The Telegraph places Heligan at number four of the ten best "Mothers Breaks".

"Heligan History; Lost Gardens, Lost Gardeners" published.

2009

New wildlife website heliganwild.com launched, web cams updated every 10 seconds.

Pineapple Pits produce first fruit in 3 years.

BTCV celebrates their 50th anniversary with a special event for volunteers and staff.

Heligan History: Lost Gardens, Lost Gardeners book wins Holyer An Gof award in “Publications about a small area of Cornwall” category.

‘X-ray art’ studio set up, images on display at Horsemoor Hide.

Heligan is awarded a Gold Medal at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show.

 

2010

Construction of Multi-species Tower.

Philippa Forrester and Charlie Hamilton James filming for new 1-hour BBC Natural World programme.

Discovered late C18th Tremayne glass bottle and purchased silver salvers dated 1762.

First written archive regarding Cornish Pasty relates to Heligan.

Autumn visit by rare Green Heron from USA.

4 Millionth visitor.

The Future…

If you would like to know more about the history, restoration and current developments at Heligan, please visit our online shop for a list of Heligan books and DVD’s.

 

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