Prior Park Landscape Garden (NT)

  • priorpark

Garden Category: South West England Gardens

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  • Beautiful and intimate 18th century landscape garden created by Bath entrepreneur Ralph Allen (1693-1764) with advice from the poet Alexander Pope and Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. Sweeping valley with magnificent views of the City of Bath. Palladian Bridge and lakes. Ornamental Palladian bridge, one of only four in the world.

    After Ralph Allen’s death in 1764 the estate changed hands several times, as he had no heir. The garden went into a long decline, with trees seeding themselves and paths becoming overgrown. This was the situation in 1993 when we acquired 26 acres of garden below the mansion. Archaeologists got to work and uncovered much of the story of the garden, finding original features and piecing together how it developed. Armed with this knowledge, a team of volunteers embarked on a programme of work, which continues to this day. We cut back undergrowth, laid a new circuit path and put railings around the central pasture. Contractors carried out extensive repairs to the bridge and the dam on the bottom lake. The garden opened to the public in 1996. In 2002 we reinstated the Serpentine Lake and the cascade, and replanted the wilderness. Our future projects include building a replica Gothic Temple and putting a new roof on the grotto.

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