Godolphin House
Godolphin House

Godolphin House is a romantic Tudor mansion of grey granite stone set in extensive Elizabethan gardens. The house features an early Elizabethan stable block. The crenellated Stuart frontage hides a suite of informal Tudor rooms set on two floors.


Around 1300 Sir Alexander Godolghan built a castle here, but Godolphin house as we see it today dates to the 15th century and was the home of the Godolphin family until the 18th century. The family made a fortune in in mining and were one of the most influential families in Cornwall. They were also committed to the Royalist cause in the Civil War and sheltered Charles II here in 1646. From its beginnings as a humble manor house, successive generations of Godolphins enlarged the house until by 1689 it boasted over 100 rooms.

Sidney Godolphin rose to become Lord Treasurer to Queen Anne from 1702 and left the house behind. His descendants spent little time in Cornwall, and when the 2nd Earl died in 1766 the estate passed to the Dukes of Leeds. Much of the house was torn down in 1805, and what was left became a simple farmhouse. It was rescued from obscurity in 1929 and eventually passed to the National Trust.

The interior is beautifully furnished with period furniture and wall hangings. Some of the furniture is original to Godolphin House, having been sold off but then bought back. The showpiece room in the house is the Dining Room, featuring linenfold panelling and a 16th-century timber roof. The King's Room in the west wing features a finely carved doorway created in 1604 for the marriage of Sir William Godolphin.

The Elizabethan stables still stand, and parts of the 16th-century formal gardens have been restored to their original design. This is arguably one of the most important formal gardens in Britain.