Prior Park Dams

As an independent conservation charity, we’re dedicated to looking after Prior Park and conserving its Georgian history. The next project in our ongoing restoration journey will be around the 18th-century dams.

At the end of the project we will be able to refill the lakes and restore the reflections
  • We are undertaking a £2.2 million project to restore the Georgian dams and refill the lakes
  • The dams and Palladian Bridge are over 250 years old
  • After looking after the garden for 25 years, this is the next step in the restoration journey

Since we started caring for this Georgian landscape back in 1993, the aim has been to restore the garden to its 1764 splendour, and the time of creator Ralph Allen’s death. The next project in our continuing restoration of the garden will be around the historic dams at the lower end of the garden.

Time has taken its toll since these structures were built in the mid 1700s, and the dams now need major and expert attention. Working down the garden from the bridge, the middle dam needs the most restoration. The middle lake has already been emptied to take the load off the dam and to allow it to be fully restored and then the middle path reopened. A small cascade – one of Allen’s original features – will also be reinstated here, and the lower dam is to be strengthened.

We have £2.1 million in place for the project, and are now fundraising to raise the last £100,000, to ensure work can start in early 2019.

With your support we can restore the dams, reinstate the paths and refill the lakes, so visitors can enjoy tranquil reflections once again.


Opposite: The middle lake is currently standing empty to relieve pressure on the dam, as we plan the restoration project


" Prior Park is a sanctuary within the city of Bath which provides a tranquil space for quiet contemplation. Its winding woodland paths, cascading water and spectacular views make it a garden full of surprise and wonder. In creator Ralph Allen’s time, this garden was sympathetically created by consulting ‘the genius of the place’ and we continue to do so as we restore this 18th-century masterpiece for future generations. "

Donate to Prior Park Dams

Please select an amount

£10 Could pay for the grass seed and top soil to restore a square metre of grass
£20 Could pay for a shrub and form part of the replanting plan for the lower dam and surrounding area
£40 Could pay to move 1 cubic metre of silt from the lakes to restore the reflections
Or enter your own amount

Why give to the National Trust?

As a charity, we rely on the generosity of supporters to look after the outdoor spaces in our care. Not only do our supporters help to conserve beautiful landscapes and protect precious plants and wildlife. But they also ensure that future generations have places they can find freedom from everyday life, reconnect with the natural world and make memories to treasure. Your donation will go towards this project and other vital conservation work in the outdoors at this special place. With your support, we can continue to protect the irreplaceable. For everyone, for ever.

Donate now to the Prior Park dams appeal