The Lost Gardens step back 100 years for Act of Remembrance

The Lost Gardens step back 100 years for Act of Remembrance

Preparations are already beginning for the 100 year anniversary of the First World War at The Lost Gardens of Heligan

To mark the centenary Heligan will be collaborating with renowned theatre company WILDWORKS to commemorate the day Britain declared war in 1914.  Together they plan to transform the Heligan Estate back to the summer of 1914, introducing heavy horses, vintage cultivation equipment and craftsmen who still practice traditional rural skills onto the Heligan estate and recreating the day with a piece of living theatre, ‘100: The Day The World Changed.

In preparation for this, West Lawn will be ploughed up to plant three acres of poppies and barley. Cultivation of the lawn will take three days and start on 28th December 2013, using horses rather than machinery and focusing on the traditional methods the estate workers at Heligan would have used 100 years ago.  The poppy seed will be sown by hand late in the April, flowering in time for the summer.

George Elworthy, MD Lost Gardens of Heligan, comments, “The First World War was a major changing point in the history of Heligan.  Many of the young men working here left for the war, leaving the gardens to fall into slow decline. Although there weren’t the staff to keep the gardens tended, they did leave behind many poignant stories that we continue to unearth and discover today.”

“Last summer we planted several acres of wild flowers in the West Lawn and Higher Beef meadows, which resulted in a magnificent display and thriving wildlife.  The poppies this year, will be a fitting tribute to those that gave their lives during the First World War and provide a stunning backdrop to the events taking place in commemoration.”

Heligan and WILDWORKS are keen to hear from people with stories and remembrance of life during war-time as part of the planned anniversary events. They are also appealing for contributions towards the cost of planting the poppy field and inviting contribution of £2.

For further information go to

To donate by text, send ‘WWWW01 £2’ to 70070