Cornish Chronicles: sculpture gardens

St Ives became a centre for the arts in the 1920s and 30s when influential painters and sculptors moved in. Barbara Hepworth, one of the leading abstract sculptors of the 20th century, had a studio there which, following her death in a fire in 1975, has been preserved as a museum. The garden contains some of her most famous sculptures:

Just outside Penzance is Tremenheere Sculpture Garden, which opened in 2012. If the Hepworth is more sculpture than garden, this is more garden than sculpture, but no less beautiful for that. It also boasts a very fine café (the Lime Tree) and hosts activities and events. We were there at least two hours, and spent most time at James Turrell’s Tewlwolow Kernow (Twilight in Cornwall), a domed chamber from which you can observe the sky.

There was plenty more art to see:

Until the 13th century, this land was owned by the monks of St Michael’s Mount which you can see out in the bay from the top end of the gardens. There’ll be more about that in my next post. And, of course, the sub-tropical plants themselves were lovely:

So, two very different sculpture gardens, but both well worth a visit. And this has been my 200th post on this blog!


  1. Congrats on your 200th post! I wanted to tell you how useful I’ve been finding your blog of late; I’m going up to Scotland later this week, and have been using your posts to help plan the trip. Now that I know there a museum inside the William Wallace monument, I’m definitely more inclined to check it out! 🙂


  2. Congratulations on post #200. I love seeing your photos of all the places you’ve been. These sculpture gardens are amazing. I especially love Barbara Hepworth’s sculptures. I saw one last spring in DC and The Walker (in Minneapolis) owns a couple. Hopefully at least one will be on display when I next visit.


    • Thank you! The sculptures are magnificent – I’d also seen one or two in isolation, but to see them all together in what is quite a small garden is amazing. They interact with each other.


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