The Cliveden Maze

The maze at Cliveden, Buckinghamshire

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

Our maze is based on one that was built for the 1st Viscount Astor in 1894 and has over 500 metres of paths winding amongst two-metre high hedges. The maze covers approximately one third of an acre, making the maze the same size as the world-famous Hampton Court maze.

We started work recreating the giant puzzle in 2009 and it 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.

Historic design

Apart from a few surviving yew trees that provided the exact location, little else was known about the original maze. However, a sketch drawn by the 1st Viscount Astor showing his design for maze survives in the archive and we were able to use this to recreate a faithful copy.

Cliveden Maze
A historic drawing of the maze at Cliveden in Buckinghamahire

A-maze-ing facts

Yew trees create great mazes because they readily form dense hedges and are easily clipped into shape. We used almost 1,100 yew trees to make up the hedges and each tree on arrival, was already 2 metres tall and weighed approximately 60 kilograms. It took four 40-foot artic lorries to transport them.

Meanwhile, over 1,000 metres of steel edging and 120 tonnes of gravel were used to produce the 500 metres of path. 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 our recreation.

Donate a tree to the maze

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