What I particularly like about Cotehele House is the way that the combination of buildings sit harmoniously together.
From 1485 until 1562 successive members of the Edgcumbe family built this complex out of local slate and granite, and even with Stuart and Victorian modifications, nothing really changed the overall exterior Tudor appearance.
The way that the house and its associated buildings seem to blend unobtrusively into the surrounding Cornish countryside is one of its main endearing features.
Entry into the house is through the Gatehouse Tower, Hall Court, and straight into the most distinctively Tudor room of the house – The Hall. Armour and swords decorate the walls, but the highlight of this room comes every Christmas when the Hall is bedecked with dried flowers known as the Cotehele Garland.
The Hall is undoubtedly the most impressive room in the house, but it’s also worth making sure that you don’t miss the kitchen and the chapel with its unusual turret clock, both of which are of Tudor origin. There’s no point in going into the details of all the other rooms, some of which are quite dark, partly due to the tapestries that seem to hang on so many of the walls.
The Edgcumbes didn’t always use Cotehele as their main family home (Edgcumbe House was their favourite), and the furnishings were often cannibalised from other bits and pieces, which makes the rooms interesting in a way that you wouldn’t expect, such as table legs supporting the four poster bed in the King Charles Room for example.
I tend to think of Cotehele House as a great old Tudor building rather than a grand stately home, and combined with a tour of the rest of the estate, makes for a fantastic day out.
For opening times and all the other important information make sure that you check out the official National Trust website.