This stately home offers a taste of a traditional Christmas - including a 60-foot Christmas garland that takes nearly a year to make. 

The National Trust has announced that the garland at its Cotehele property has been completed and is now on display for the public. 

Cotehele, in St Dominick near Saltash, is a Tudor estate with Medieval origins, including a “glorious” garden with valley views, and a mill on a historic quay. 

cotehele christmas garland
Close up of some of the dried flowers in the 2023 garland at Cotehele. (National Trust Images / James Beck)

The Christmas garland has been a traditional since 1956, and is hung in the Great Hall throughout the festive season. 

Preparations for the garland begin in January, when the flower seeds are sown in the Cut Flower Garden. 

Flowers start to be picked by staff and volunteers from late April onwards, and are dried over the summer and autumn months. 

cotehele christmas garland
The last of 30,000 flowers being added to the 2023 garland at Cotehele. (National Trust Images / James Beck)

Finally, the flowers are put together to create the garland over two weeks in November, with this year’s garland having been completed by a team of 60 people. 

The house itself dates back to the 1300s, with tapestries, armour and arms, and period furniture, having originally belonged to the Edgcumbe family for centuries. 

In 1789, visitors to the estate included King George III and Queen Charlotte, but the house was largely uninhabited throughout the 18th century. 

cotehele christmas garden
A garden team member adding the last of 30,000 flowers to the 2023 garland in the Great Hall at Cotehele. (National Trust Images / James Beck)

Other notable aspects of the estate are an ancient chapel, where Sir Richard Edgcumbe narrowly escaped capture by King Richard III’s men in 1483, and the Prospect Tower, which was built to commemorate King George III’s visit to the estate. 

Outside, there is an array of gardens, with woodlands, orchards and a stream, altogether spanning 1,300 acres. 

Also in the grounds is the Valley Garden, including a medieval stewpond and dovecote, and leads down to the River Tamar. 

For the festive season, there are lights along the stream to Cotehele Mill, which will be decorated in a traditional Victorian style. 

There will also be performances in the grounds for Christmas, with choirs and bands striking up over the December weekends. 

Cotehele is open for Christmas with the garland on display until Sunday 7th January 2024.

The National Trust said: “The last dried flower has been added to this year’s flower garland at the National Trust’s Cotehele in Cornwall. 

“This magnificent creation is the culmination of the growing year and is a much-loved tradition that’s been celebrated in the Great Hall since 1956. 

“The Garland is 60-feet long and features 30,000 flowers, all grown and dried on the estate over a period of ten months. 

“At 19 stone in weight, it takes 60 garden staff and volunteers 12 days to assemble. 

“You can see the 2023 garland in the Great Hall at Cotehele until 7 January 2024.”