Philip Hawkins commissioned Thomas Edwards to build him a country house in 1723. The Georgian building is surrounded by large gardens and an internationally-renowned collection of camellias.
This Georgian country house was built for Philip Hawkins in 1723. Philip’s nephew, Thomas Hawkins, inherited the house and was given permission to marry Anne Heywood on the condition that he employ Sir Robert Taylor to remodel the house. He did so in 1740, and Taylor also redesigned the inside of the house, adding pine wood panelling in the east reception room, and Ionic entablatures and arabesques in the central south room. The dining room is a good example of the rococo style that was very popular at the time.
In 1903 the estate passed to another family member, John Heywood Johnstone, whose 22 year-old son, George, had to take on the running of the estate when his father died just a year later. George sponsored some of the plant hunting exhibitions to the Himalayas and introduced new plants to the gardens, including magnolias, rhododendrons, azaleas and a rare holly. Famous plant hunters like E H Wilson and George Forrest sent back rare camellia plants, and Trewithen is now listed as an International Camellia Garden of Excellence - one of only 30 in the world to have received this award. George’s grandson, Michael Galsworthy, lives at the house now and has overseen the planting of more than 30,000 trees (fittingly, ‘Trewithen’ means ‘house of the trees’), and there are viewing platforms around the gardens so you can get better views of the plants.