For Dyrham’s portfolio staff day out this year, it had been agreed for us to take a trip to Cornwall and visit Cotehele. I was childishly excited to be included on a trip to one of my favourite counties, and having not visited the property before, was looking forward to seeing the house. (Not so much looking forward to the 3-ish hr coach trip.)
The traffic gods were with us and after a pit-stop, arrived on time to be greeted with blazing sunshine. Splitting into small groups we scanned the area and chose what to do first. I elected to join Bridget, Nat, Ali and Cath to take a quick walk to the Quay to make the most of the weather. Luckily for my companions I had forgotten my swimwear. A short walk took us to the boatbuilding yard and after a little sightseeing spotted a good place for lunch. Suitably re-fuelled a short walk, (sure it was longer on the way up) took us back to the house.
A beautiful and impressive courtyard let to one of the most awesome entrance halls I’ve seen, impressively decked out with a variety of armour and weaponry. Bridget and I were each given the chance to hold what can only be described as a gargantuan sword. (The blade guard looked more like antlers) This, I think, gives a ‘don’t mess’ message to your dwelling – a ‘Tudor intruder’ deterrent. Our companions went ahead while we took our time. A seamstress by trade, Bridget was in heaven studying the many tapestries in the rooms and taking photos with her ‘iPatch’. (Not a typo, it’s what she calls her iPad) It was noticed by many during the day, usually with an ‘ooh what’s that?’ Maybe we should have got the Apple Company to sponsor the trip. If tapestries are your thing, then a visit is a must.
A familiar comment from over-hearing the odd conversation was how dark the rooms are. Rightly so, considering how unique tapestries are. Made entirely from organic materials, they are exceptionally fragile and prone to damage from UV light, as well as temperature and humidity changes. The time and skill involved in creating them is quite exceptional too. They would have usually been created by men working from the back of the tapestry, section by section, sometimes using a mirror to check progress of the design. Having finally made our way to the exit, we had a lovely stroll around the gardens and finished up at the tea-rooms. Sustenance was needed for our return journey, and what trip to Cornwall would be complete without a cream tea!