Saving the south terrace at Cliveden
Latest update 12.12.2013 14:00
350 years of glory have taken their toll on the south terrace at Cliveden.
This summer we're cleaning and repairing the main staircase that leads from the south terrace to the parterre. You’ll be able to see our progress from the viewing walkway and as the staircase will be closed we've built a giant slide on the scaffolding giving a thrilling alternative way to get back down to the parterre again.
Time catches up with the terrace
At almost 350 years old, the south terrace is the oldest part of the entire estate – and it is showing its age. Over the years parts have been damaged or have simply been worn to breaking point. Some of this damage you can see as you walk on the terrace, for example parts of the stone balustrade are missing or held together by wooden planks, but there's also considerable work to be done underneath to support the structure itself.
Conservation in action
A specialist team will be carefully dismantling the double flight of stairs that descends to the parterre before cleaning, repairing and as a last resort replacing the old stones before putting everything back in exactly the right place. Join us on the viewing platform as we discover the true structure of this magnificent staircase. At over 6.5m tall, you’ll have a bird’s eye view of the work in progress and of course you'll be able to enjoy the famous view across the parterre to the Thames beyond. To round off your visit to our major project of the summer, rather than take the stairs, why not speed down to the parterre via our 17.5m long slide?
Then and now
In the 1670s the Duke of Buckingham embarked on a major project to build the first house at Cliveden. However, before he could start on the house, he had to level the hill top creating the parterre and build the terrace that rises above. Since then the terrace has provided the foundations for three mansions and been the perfect spot from which to breathe in the views that Buckingham fell in love with. Our five year, £3.4m project will ensure that the terrace will be able to provide enjoyment for another 300 years.