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Part of the Acorn Archive

Penzance, Cornwall

Architecture and Heritage

Morrab Gardens


From a postcard in my grandmother’s collection

Postmarked 1907 – to Bryher.

A concert in session on the bandstand.

Children fascinated by the fish in the pool.

The way the gardens are swept around to create something of a country walk,

through different levels and through open spaces and more intimate ones,

with much to see and enjoy on the way,

was an achievement on the part of  Reginald Upcher

(Landscape Architect of London).


Samuel Pidwell built Morrab House in 1841

The grounds 3½ acres and House were bought for £3,120 at auction 16th July 1888

by Penzance Town Council from the owner Mr Thomas King of Clarence Street, Penzance.

It was then necessary to borrow around £4,000

for the Grounds to be laid out as Public Gardens.

The House was retained (occupied by The Penzance Library from 1889).


Samuel Pidwell, although of a Penzance family, was born in London 31st March 1808

He married Anne Batten (daughter of John Batten) 6th June 1837

Climbed Mont Blanc in 1837.

Member of the Royal Yacht Club.

Samuel Pidwell was a Brewer at Tolcarne & Penzance.

Mayor of Penzance 1844 and 1849

Secretary of the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall 1847

He died at Penzance 28th April 1854


The Gardens have always been, for me,

a pleasure to walk through or a place to spend some time.

At the Lower end is the enclosed pool,

it always had many fish of the carp family, wending their way between the lilies.

Work is under way at the moment clearing the pool.

It always was fenced and enclosed by bushes and bamboo on three sides,

ensuring a warm pool. It also encouraged birds to use the edges. 

Further up, beyond the Bandstand is a restored pool

in front of The Boer War Memorial.

Then back again to the Bandstand

A Gift from Mr James Henry Bennetts

A photograph taken by my aunt (1930)

Another taken by her husband, a good many years later,

one cold afternoon.

The Fountain was placed there in 1902, and is being looked after,

but is getting lost behind all the grass.



Raymond Forward