This film is part of Free

Hippies St Germans

Hippies at the Port Eliot Estate in St Germans explain a happy hippy way of life and are welcomed by the Earl.

Current affairs 1968 6 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


Peregrine Eliot aka from 1988 the tenth Earl of St Germans has opened his estate to a community of hippies who seek an alternative way of life. This dreamy film sees news reporter Dale Le Vack meet members of the community and attempts to explore aspirations for centring and pooling resources including giving up traditional living in the pursuit of harmony, freedom, self-sufficiency and vegetarianism.

Perry as he was known was a keen art lover and friend of artist Robert Lenkiewicz whose mural in Sir John Soane's Great Round Room sits alongside works by Van Dyck and Sir Joshua Reynolds. In 1963 he had a stake selling merchandise for Brian Epstein and The Beatles but the company was taken to court over royalties. As Earl, Perry sold a Rembrandt painting of Daniel and Cyrus before the Idol of Bel to the Getty in California to raise funds for the estate. Friend of Michael Eavis and Glastonbury Festival he hosted the Elephant Fayre on the estate from 1981 and the now rebranded Port Eliot Festival is a popular annual attraction with music and book lovers. On his death in 2016, his grandson became the eleventh Earl.