The main museum is closed but please visit our Pop-Up Museum.
Pop-Up Museum: Merchant’s House, 13 High Street, Launceston, PL15 8ER
Lawrence House Gardens
We are privileged at Lawrence House Museum as beyond the fine Georgian building we also have access to a large garden, a rare and much-valued accompaniment for any museum.
9, Castle Street was designed to demonstrate the owners’ knowledge and appreciation of Georgian architecture. It also reflected their aspirations and reinforced their status within the town and wider area. As the owners were attuned to the latest in architectural design, it is probable they would follow current trends when it came to outside space. When the house was built in 1753 garden design as a concept was in a formative period. It is likely that even in modest-sized gardens, there would be an orderly layout incorporating square or oblong flowerbeds and lawns defined by formal paths.
The Grand Tour also had an impact with many new plant species being introduced. John Veitch sent 23 plant hunters (including some Cornish and Devonian men) to remote areas all over the world and set up his pioneering nursery in Exeter c1800.
Humphrey Lawrence managed the business affairs of the Duke of Northumberland, who acquired nearby Werrington Park in 1775. The parkland and gardens there had been extensively redesigned by the Morice family. This was a transitional period in landscaping, where the concept was for the formal garden to be framed by the countryside beyond. These picturesque principles may have been adopted, as the low wall allows the eye to be drawn to the stunning views over the fields beyond and towards St Stephen’s. The 1842 Launceston map indicates a lower plot, adjacent to the new St Thomas Road below. Caroline Pearse’s first published article was entitled ‘Bees and Beehives’, this lower area would have been ideal for such. There were two gardeners listed amongst her staff.