Port Eliot Festival is the original free-ranging festival of ideas, which draws an unmatchable collection of artists, musicians, writers, comedians, performers, thinkers, makers, protagonists, agitators and scribblers to one of the most beautiful corners of the country. This year’s Port Eliot Festival event will run from Thursday 25 to Sunday 28 July 2019 on the rolling park and woodland of the ancient estate at St Germans, on south east Cornwall’s Rame Peninsula.
Recent years have seen Barbara Hulanicki and Sandy Powell leading a fashion drawing masterclass for children; Kate Winslet performing a Sunday morning children’s story; Dominic West hosting a spelling bee; Britain’s finest wildlife sound recordist, Chris Watson, blasting the sounds of Sheffield along the river walk; Gruff Rhys presenting a poignant and funny musical history lesson; tales of life as the ‘60s it-girl and style inspiration from Penelope Tree; and Martin Scorsese handpicking the film programme.
The spirit of the Cornish festival is a reflection of the history and character of Port Eliot itself. The House has been lived in for over 1000 years and is believed to be the oldest continually inhabited dwelling in the UK. It has housed Augustinian monks, survived confiscation by Charles I’s Court of the Star Chamber and been declared the most beautiful place in England by Napoleon. Its central room boasts a 360° masterpiece mural by South West England’s most celebrated 20th century artist, Robert Lenkiewicz, alongside great works by Reynolds and Van Dyck. The festival finds its way into the House itself, with exhibitions in the basement, tours of the historic rooms and conversations in the Round Room.