The Cliveden Maze - Lord Astor's giant puzzle

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Will you be able to crack Lord Astor's secret route and reach the heart of the Cliveden Maze?

The ‘fully grown’ maze is based on one that was built for the 1st Viscount Astor in 1894 but had all but disappeared. Apart from a few surviving yew trees that provided the exact location of the maze, little else was known about the original maze. However, a sketch drawn by Lord Astor showing his design for maze survives in the archive and we were able to use this to recreate a faithful copy.

Work started clearing the site in 2009 and the new maze took two years to create. Over 1,000 metres of steel edging and 120 tonnes of gravel was used to produce 500 metres of path over one third of an acre, making the maze the same size as the world-famous Hampton Court maze. 

A-maze-ing

There are almost 1,100 yew trees that make up the hedges were planted in just 20 days in October and November 2010. Yew trees create great mazes because they readily form dense hedges and are easily clipped into shape. Each tree on arrival, was already 2 metres tall, weighed approximately 60 kilograms, and four 40-foot artic lorries were required to transport them.

The maze’s beautiful hand-forged wrought iron gates were created by Chris Collman from Burnham who is known locally as The Wrought Iron Man. The gates have a strong Victorian influence and commemorate both Lord Astor’s original maze and the Trust’s recreation.

The maze was officially opened on Friday 8 April 2011 by renowned gardener, broadcaster and writer Alan Titchmarsh. Lord Astor, whose great-grandfather was William Waldorf, the 1st Viscount Astor, was the first person to officially go into the new maze.

Donate a tree to the maze

It's not too late to donate a tree in the maze to your loved one, family or friends. We are inviting people to donate a yew tree and each one will come with a brass dedication plaque. Drop in to the information centre for further details.