Antony, near Torpoint in Cornwall, has been the ancestral home of the Carew family ever since Sir William Carew began to build it in 1720. In 1961 Sir John Carew Pole gave Antony to the National Trust, with an endowment for its upkeep, but by mutual agreement he continued to live in the house, as does his son, Sir Richard, with his wife Lady Mary, today.
Donor families remain in residence at a number of National Trust properties. This helps to preserve the historical continuity of the place, and to prevent it becoming too museum-like. At Antony the Carew Poles have not only worked with the Trust to open the house to visitors, but they have also commissioned contemporary art and developed the garden.
Recently the Carew Poles and the Trust staff at Antony were joined by Tim Burton and his crew who came to borrow the house and garden as an evocative set for the new Alice in Wonderland film.
An article on the filming at Antony has appeared in the Spring 2010 issue of the National Trust Magazine. To celebrate the film the gardens will be turned into a wonderland this season, with wondrous installations, mysterious trails and Mad Hatter tea parties.