Painting the pagoda at Cliveden

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The pagoda is an iconic centrepiece to our oriental-inspired Water Garden. But over the years the fragile building and its paintwork deteriorated.

Restoring the Pagoda

In 2012 we carried out repairs to the structure and the stone platform of the Pagoda, and more recently we have re-painted it in its original colour scheme.

Many visitors will be familiar with the bright blue and red scheme colour scheme that dates from the 1980s, but after much research we decided to restore the Pagoda back to it's original design. Research and early paint samples revealed that the original scheme was green with intricate gold patterns.

Tricks of the trade

The design is very detailed and all of it has been applied freehand by a specialist historic decorator. As well as restoring the gold patterns, they have employed the same ‘tricks’ used in the original design to make the structure look more elaborate. For example, by using different shades of green, they have been able to make the column surface look fluted rather than flat.

From Paris to Cliveden

The six-sided Chinese pagoda was made for the 1867 Paris Exposition Universelle. It was brought here in 1900 by William Waldorf Astor, who bought it in the sale of Bagatelle, the Marquess of Hertford’s villa near Paris. At the turn of the twentieth century there was huge interest in all things oriental. When combined with the flowing water, rocks and planting, the Pagoda completed Astor’s fashionable new garden.

Work continues

Finishing touches including re-painting of the roof of the Pagoda are due to be carried out in 2014.

Thanks to everyone who bought a raffle ticket in 2013 helping us to fund the restoration work carried out so far. Money raised from the sale of raffle tickets in 2014 will help us to finish the restoration works on the Pagoda.