ItV allows individuals who do not belong to any society or group, to join similar people for a guided tour by the owners around special gardens and houses, some rarely open to the public.
Visitors will be shown around the Pentillie estate by a member of the Coryton family who will reveal a great deal about the history, the secrets and the scandals. Hear and see details of the recent restoration work at the Mausoleum and the hidden vault! Tour the gardens and view architect Humphry Repton's proposed Castle remodelling, landscaped gardens and parklands in one of his famous red books.
Tickets are £15 per person for a 2.5 hour guided garden tour including afternoon tea in the castle.
Details - all tours begin at 2pm. No dogs. Please bring suitable sturdy footwear and outdoor clothing.
Despite the serious neglect of the kitchen gardens over the last 30 years, there is still beauty to be found when you have the eye for it.
Have a look at Rachel Warne's stunning shots, see right, that have earned her the wonderful accolade of International Garden Photographer of the Year 2009 for her Portfolio of shots of the decaying greenhouses in the Walled Kitchen Garden at Pentillie. These photographs were on display at Kew Gardens in 2010.
The kitchen gardens will need a lot of work to restore them to their former glory (see the shot in the gardens gallery), but we are positive that we will achieve this in the years to come. With Natural England and English Heritage we have secured funding for the consolidation and repair of the garden walls. This will be the first of a series of restoration projects. We plan to work on the restoration project with retired and wounded servicemen's charities and local community groups.
Anyone who wishes to volunteer to help in the kitchen garden once we get the project off the ground would be very welcome. Please email Sarah to express your interest.
Since the current generation of the Coryton's took over in 2007, the American gardens have seen the most dramatic changes. There were no paths through the tangled laurel and rhodedendron, and no light penetrating the dense greenery. A large number of the wonderful specimen trees were also in a dangerous state with dead branches dangling precariously.
Following some feisty digger action, numerous chain-saw hours, and brave decisions, the American gardens have been opened up, and the laurel cut down, allowing the light to penetrate and the bulbs to flourish.
The American gardens take up about 20 acres of the pleasure gardens at Pentillie and are full of stunning rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias. They also boast enormous old oak and beech trees - if only trees could talk they would tell a tale or two!
The gardens were called 'American' due to the plants that were imported from the United States in the mid-1800's; shortly after this area of the garden was created by Lewis Kennedy in around 1815.