It is difficult to let a moment go by, without taking a photo, when you are in the Cornish village of Calstock.
The essence of Calstock, is its 1908 Cornish granite bridge that connects Plymouth to Gunnislake on river Tamar. About fourteen miles upriver from Plymouth Sound, this beautiful Cornish village was a river port during Saxon times. Refreshingly peaceful, Calstock is nestled in tranquillity.
Calstock's Zenith port, was of much importance in the last century. Several merchant boats flocked the waters of Tamar due to its mining and industrial activities. Today, the industrious port of Calstock, has been reduced to a small boatyard, that serves local people.
Adjacent to the port, is a rural area known for its flowers and fruits. A footpath, piercing the valley, leads you to the mediaeval estate of Cotehele. The Estate of Cotehele would take some time to cover, but every single moment of your time is worth it. Cotehele House, Garden, Mill and the Quay, together make up this 1300 acre estate.
Cotehele House, every single stone of this 16th century mediaeval manor has a story to tell. Find out what secrets this ancient castle has to reveal.
Built out of Cornish slate and granite, this gigantic structure was made by the members of Edgecumbe family. The building was modified in the Victorian era, but interestingly it held on to its original mediaeval flavour. The harmonious blend of this black granite castle, with the blue sky in the background, is absolutely mind-blowing.
Walk through the Gatehouse Tower to the most impressive part of the building, The Hall Court. Armour and swords, that have been witness to several battles, won and lost, highlight the hall. The grandeur of the Hall is bound to absorb you completely.
While you are in the Cotehele House, make sure you visit the King Charles Room and the Chapel. Please don't make it a point to visit every room of the castle, as most of them are dark and creepy.
You could easily spend hours exploring this grand Tudor building. It certainly holds lots of interesting history.
Cotehele Mill, is a 10-15 minute refreshing walk, from the house, the time will help you get over the spell that the 16th century manor casts on you. The Mill, in this picturesque countryside setting, is a treat for the eyes. A working Mill, with its own flour, feeds a 19th century bakery that was restored recently. It is intriguing to watch the grain being crushed and made into bread!
Cotehele Quay involves a 15-minute ferry ride from Calstock, this part of the estate that has been with the Edgecumbe family since 1353. Blooming flowers and fruits, such as strawberries, apples and cherries, connect Quay to heaven. The historic Edgecumbe Tea-Room of Quay, by the riverside, is a perfect place to relax and let the world go by.
Cotehele Garden, has an absolutely brilliant and rejuvenating atmosphere. The East Range of the garden is nearest to the Cotehele House. A little beyond that is the Upper Garden that has a Lilly pond with benches around it. After this day long trip, you will find yourself magnetically attracted towards the benches. Behind the Upper Garden, are a couple of orchards that grow a variety of apples. North of Upper Garden is the Prospect tower. From this three sided tower, overlooking the mesmerizing farmlands, you get a perfect view of the Tamar valley village, Calstock.
The Limekiln Gallery exhibits the creative side of Calstock. Various artistic pieces of ceramics, stunning sculptures and fantastic paintings are exhibited in The Limekiln Gallery. The Calstock village centre, that hosts The Limekiln Gallery, is an open performance space for street performers and local artists. The gallery is open 11am to 5pm every day except Mondays.
A Baptist church is the newest venue for Calstock's cultural performances. The Church auditorium, renovated and transformed by Calstock Arts Organization, houses theatrical, literary and music events.
The Calstock experience, is extremely deep and peaceful. It might exhaust your memory card, but it will keep you recharged for a long time.