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Godolphin Estate

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Phone  +44 1736 763194
Godolphin Estate
Address  Helston, Godolphin Cross, Helston TR13 9RE, United Kingdom
Similar  The Flambards Experience, Cornish Seal Sanctuary, Trengwainton Garden, Glendurgan Garden, Trelissick Garden

Godolphin estate house and gardens explore cornwall

For the thoroughbred horse racing stables, see Godolphin Racing. For the English politicians, see Earl of Godolphin or Sidney Godolphin (1652-1732)

The Godolphin Estate is a National Trust property situated in Godolphin Cross, 7 km (4.3 mi) north-west of Helston in Cornwall, United Kingdom.


The Estate is the former seat of the Dukes of Leeds and the Earls of Godolphin. It contains a Grade 1 listed Tudor/Stuart mansion, complete with early formal gardens (dating from circa 1500) and Elizabethan stables (circa 1600). The present house is remnant of a larger mansion. At one time it was a secondary seat of the Dukes of Leeds, but the Duke sold it in 1929. The Godolphin Estate came into the ownership of the National Trust in 2007. The Estate measures 550 acres (220 ha) and includes Godolphin Hill which provides views over west Cornwall. More than four hundred recorded archaeological features range from Bronze Age enclosures to 19th-century mine buildings. The Trust has been improving public access to the Estate.

The large village of Godolphin Cross (sometimes Crossroads), in the parish of Breage, adjoins the estate to the east. Amenities include a primary school.

House and gardens

Godolphin House is located at grid reference SW 601 318. The house and gardens were acquired by the National Trust in August 2007. Various events are held throughout the year. The house is approached from the north and consists of three wings around a square courtyard and the front wall of a further building on the south side. The main buildings originally stood to the south of this with two projecting wings. One room of the 16th-century remains in the east range; this has linenfold panelling. Opposite the hall range is the Jacobean range; the north side is castellated and has a loggia of seven bays on the ground floor. Stylistic features here appear to be of the mid 17th-century and suggest that the accepted date for the house of after 1712 is very unlikely. The house is available as a holiday let for approximately three weeks each month when it is not open to the public.

Legend and customs

A custom first recorded in the 18th-century, but may relate to the 14th-century, was enacted yearly on Candlemas day (2 February) until 1921. Godolphin and St Aubyn wagered their respective seats on a race between two snails; Godolphin, losing, pricked his snail which curled up and lost the race. St Aubyn instead of claiming Godolphin's estate imposed an annual custom. The reeve of Lambourne knocked on the door of the great hall of Godolphin Court and demanded to be let in. He would jump on the table and demand 'rents duties and customs'. These were paid in a large quart of strong beer, a loaf of wheaten bread and cheese of similar value and 2s 8d.


Godolphin Estate Wikipedia