Time catches up with the Terrace
The terrace itself is thought to be the oldest surviving building at Cliveden, with some alterations and repairs along the way it has survived two fires and over three centuries of Cliveden wind and rain.
Some of this damage you can see as you walk on the Terrace, for example parts of the stone balustrade are missing or held together, but there is also considerable work to be done underneath to support the structure itself.
The Terrace has also suffered from significant water damage caused by a faulty drainage system. Water has been soaking into the masonry, accelerating the decay of time.
Then and now
In the 1670s the Duke of Buckingham embarked on a major project to build the first house at Cliveden. However, before he could start on the house, he had to level the hill top creating the Parterre and build the Terrace that rises above. Since then the Terrace has provided the foundations for three mansions and is the perfect spot from which to admire the views that Buckingham fell in love with.
Significant alterations were made to the terrace façade and stair as part of Charles Barry’s 1851 designs, which were drawn up for the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland after the second fire at Cliveden destroyed the majority of the house above. Barry intended the sweeping design to make the gardens feel like an additional room in the great house, and for the owners and their guests a central part of the Cliveden experience, as the gardens are today.