The Cornish Trees – a landmark for Cornishmen and Foreigners (just joking!) alike. The copse of 140 beech trees sitting on the Devonian side of the Cornwall and Devon border are a much loved sight for locals and holiday-makers alike.
The fondly nicknamed ‘Nearly Home Trees’ mark the end of a journey for many a weary Cornishman, and also the destination for thousands of tourists that travel to Cornwall every year. Also named ‘The Pasty’, ‘The Cornwall Beyond’ and ‘The Coming Home’ trees, they signify something for everyone who spots them!
The real name of this classic landmark is Cookworthy Knapp. The group of beech trees can be sighted easily from the A30, between Lifton and Broadwoodwidger, and there are many rumours as to why they sit so proudly where they do! From above, they are in the shape of a heart, and many believe they were planted by a farmer in memory of his late wife. Others believe they represent the northern edge of the Lifton Park Estate.
Sheep and cattle can regularly be spotted grazing in the field or finding shade within the copse, and as you approach the trees on one side of a valley and continue up and out, the trees are visible for way longer than just a fleeting glimpse! Many a Cornishman and woman can be heard beeping their horn and wooping at the welcome sight of the ‘Coming Home Trees’.
At the other end of the spectrum, when Cornish folk leave the county, they can signify the beginning of a holiday or trip that will take them away from Cornwall. Whether this sparks homesickness or excitement, the trees can represent a whole mix of emotions!
From pheasant cover to burial ground to a concealer of a long disused quarry, no matter why they exist, the trees are a much-loved and long awaited landmark for anyone on their way to the Duchy.
What do you call The Cornish Trees? We are personally fond of the ‘Nearly Time for a Pint at The Bowgie Trees’!