Saving the South Terrace at Cliveden

The South Terrace and Parterre, summer 2013 © National Trust / Hannah Purcell

The South Terrace and Parterre, summer 2013

Latest update 03.06.2014 13:03

After 350 years of use, time has taken its toll on the South Terrace and we're undertaking a major conservation project to restore it to its former glory. 

Conservation work

A specialist team has carefully dismantled the double flight of stairs that descends to the Parterre and is now in the process of putting it back together again. The old bricks and stonework are being checked before being mortared back into position, and as a last resort replaced in order to rebuild the staircase. We’re also working on the western façade and later on in the year will be lifting the slabs on the western terrace.

Time catches up with the Terrace

At almost 350 years old, the South Terrace is the oldest structure on the entire estate – and is showing its age. Over the years parts of the historic architecture 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, but there is also considerable work to be done underneath to support the structure itself.

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 the perfect spot from which to admire the views that Buckingham fell in love with. Our project will ensure that the Terrace will be able to provide enjoyment for another 300 years.

Conservation in action

Our popular giant slide has also returned for this year and can be found at the western end of the Terrace giving a thrilling alternative way to get back down to the Parterre again. Find out more about the slide.