There's still a lot to be done in Prior Park. Through continued restoration, the face of the garden will continue to change as we work to bring it back to its original glory.
Woodland Management - ongoing
Our management plan involves much thinning throughout the garden to remove self-seeded trees. Our planting plan for the garden is focused on the development of shrubberies in an 18th century design. These plants will only include those which were in the country before 1764 which is the point of culmination of the garden’s design.
Dams - now
Our 18th century dams are leaking. This is why you might notice that the water levels in the middle lake are quite low, as we let out the water to relieve the pressure on the middle dam.
Specialist dam engineers have complied and detailed plan for work to the middle and lower dams.
Thatched cottage - 5-10 years
Next to our ice house is the site of a thatched cottage.
We have one illustration from a Thorpe and Overton Plan 1762 and a clear footprint of where the house once stood which has been excavated by an archaeologist. We will be appointing an architect to carry out feasibility studies for reconstruction.
In 2016 we removed a large turkey oak that was growing right through the grotto, threatening the unique 18th century mosaic in the floor.
In the long term, we'd like to install a permanent structure to preserve the grotto. The mosaic is currently under a layer of protective sand, and the space features a virtual tour of the gardens as they were in 1764.
Gothic Temple - 10+ years
This site is clear to see and is presently interpreted with an Iron Arch. The original Gothic Temple was moved to Rainbow Wood House across the valley and become listed in its new situation. This does mean that we have an accurate knowledge of the structure but would require highly skilled stone masons to replicate the ornate building.
Serpentine Lake and Cascade:
The Serpentine Lake currently has a leak, this means that the lake level is often low, resulting in a dry cascade. We would love to fix any leaks and see the cascade flowing once again!