Tehidy’s past looks to the future
A study of Tehidy Country Park for Cornwall Council is now well underway, and consultants have found evidence which sheds new light on Tehidy’s colourful past. The team, led by Cornwall Environmental Consultants (CEC), are preparing a management plan for the park, the first stage of which has been an in-depth study of the archaeology, ecology, tree cover and landscape. Formerly part of the Basset family’s great estate in Illogan, west Cornwall, the land has been owned and managed by Cornwall Council since 1983.
The archaeological study completed by the Historic Environment Projects (HEP) team of Cornwall Council has found two hundred sites and items of interest, many of which have not been recorded before, and some of which are of national importance such as prehistoric settlement enclosures.
Nigel Thomas, Senior Archaeologist at HEP said:
“We have built on archive and published material such as Michael Tangye’s history of Tehidy and the Bassets with detailed field surveys, and can now show how the area has been shaped from prehistoric and medieval times to today, concentrating especially on how the vast Georgian and Victorian park was designed and enjoyed”
The ecological survey carried out by CEC has identified a number of woodland and grassland habitats along with a number of protected species such as bats, badgers and otters. The lakes, ponds and streams have also been found to have good water quality and support healthy numbers of insects. The park is also home to many species of birds, butterflies and moths. Many of the trees within the park can be dated back to the 18th Century with some individual trees surviving from the original plantings.
The parkland that we see today was first designed and established in the 1730s and was brought to maturity by Francis Basset between 1770 and 1810 as a picturesque landscape of the kind developed by famous landscape designers like ‘Capability’ Brown. Features of particular interest include drives, a temple site, a lost, great extension to the existing parkland water features, kennels for a pack of hunting hounds and evidence of a medievaldeer park.
Following the Bassets’ sale of Tehidy in 1916, the inner area of theCountryParkwas preserved as the grounds of a sanatorium for the ‘open-air’ treatment of tuberculosis, and was later sold for development of houses and flats.
Lucy Wilson-Richards, CEC’s Project Manager and landscape architect is now compiling a management plan for the park, which will guide the preservation and restoration of historic features while at the same time ensuring that wildlife continues to flourish and people can still enjoy the parkland. Lucy added:
“We have gathered a lot of information already but would still like to hear from anybody who thinks they might be able to contribute to the story of Tehidy we are building up; local knowledge can sometimes add to the archives and bring a place to life.”
The management plan will be completed by the end of August 2011 and should allow Cornwall Council to gain funding to manage the historical parts of the Park more sympathetically in the future.
If you would like to contribute to the story of Tehidy please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or join the Tehidy Facebook group here: http://www.facebook.com/CECLimited#!/groups/TehidyParkPlan
This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 12th, 2011 at 11:15 am and is filed under News.