Things to look out for in Prior Park's Wilderness

The Wilderness is perhaps the most cultivated of all areas of the park.

Architectural features are hidden away among the trees along meandering paths.

    The Serpentine Lake and Sham Bridge

    Sham Bridge and the Serpentine Lake at Prior Park

    Archaeologists revealed the original stonework soon after Prior Park came under our care. The Serpentine Lake was restored in 2006/7 using Bath stone. The project was made possible by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

    Water plants keep the water healthy and give clear reflections of the mansion and Sham Bridge.

    The cabinet and the cascade

    The cascade in the Wilderness at Prior Park

    Water from the Serpentine Lake flows over the cascade and is then carried underground to the lake above the Palladian Bridge.

    In the 18th century guests would gather in the cabinet, a circular expanse of gravel, to admire the cascade. The flow of water could be controlled by raising and lowering weir plates.

    The cabinet and cascade recently underwent major restoration. The project was featured on Channel 4's Time Team programme.

    Mrs Allen's Grotto

    The floor of Mrs Allen

    Alexander Pope built this retreat from the open for Mrs Allen. It was designed to show off rocks, minerals and fossils that decorated the floor and roof.

    All that remains above ground level is a broken archway and about half the floor covering.