In the heart of Morrab Gardens, next to the Morrab Library, there is a building which is in a poor state of repair. When Morrab House was a private residence, this building would have been a hub of activity, containing the stables, fodder store and coach-house that were an important part of a nineteenth-century gentleman’s residence. Since Penzance Corporation purchased Morrab House in 1889, the building has suffered mixed fortunes, at times providing living accommodation for the Head Gardener and his family, stabling for the donkey that pulled the garden’s lawnmower, and until recently a kitchen and mess room for the gardeners and volunteers.
We plan to restore and repurpose the Morrab Gardens stable block to create a flexible community hub which will enable us to address our area’s social issues through education, drawing on the green heritage of West Cornwall and of Morrab Gardens in particular. There will be three aspects to the activities at The Gardeners’ House:
Community Wellbeing – working with partner organisations to reach vulnerable members of our community. We will develop a range of people and plant-based activities including an interactive Sensory Garden and Social and Therapeutic Horticulture programme to bring our heritage alive. Reaching children right through to elders with particular focus on benefits for local dementia patients and users of the Pengarth Day Centre.
Archives, history and heritage – we will provide a home for an archive of over 2000 volumes documenting the natural history of Cornwall. We will build on this archive to support the creation of new botanical collections and a rare plant registry. We will disseminate information from these resources – and from Morrab Gardens itself – through walks, talks, film and apps.
Sustainability Hub - to provide connection for Penzance’s network of green groups, and a base for Sustainable Penzance. In addition, our activities will support their target themes of climate action.