The summerhouse

The original summerhouse and gardeners at Prior Park

Tucked away among the trees, and surrounded by snowdrops, daffodils and wild garlic in their respective seasons, is the summerhouse.

The summer house as we found it

The summerhouse as we found it

When we acquired Prior Park in 1993 there was little left of this enigmatic structure but the timber frame. Luckily, an old photograph from 1912 was donated by a local man. His grandfather had carried out some of the building work when the summerhouse was moved from its original location on the estate farm holding across Ralph Allen Drive.

The summerhouse at Prior Park during restoration

Rebuilding history

In 2004, a team of staff and volunteers used the photograph to reproduce the original summerhouse as faithfully as possible. Using oak from a nearby fallen tree they re-laid the floor and clad the outside of the frame with the timber. A specialist craftsman used Cotswold stone to recreate the roof.

The summerhouse at Prior Park

The summerhouse today

The summerhouse today Today the summerhouse provides a relaxing place to stop and enjoy the sounds of nature. It's also the base for our rotten trail, where you can learn all about the fascinating world of decay and hunt for bugs.