Our work, from opening to today

The National Trust has cared for Prior Park since 1993. The garden is still being restored today, but there's a lot of work left to do.

After Ralph Allen’s death in 1764 the estate changed hands several times, as he had no heir.

The garden went into a long decline, with trees seeding themselves and paths becoming overgrown.

This was the situation in 1993 when we acquired 26 acres of garden below the mansion.

Archaeologists got to work and uncovered much of the story of the garden, finding original features and piecing together how it developed.

Armed with this knowledge, a team of volunteers embarked on a programme of work, which continues to this day. We cut back undergrowth, laid a new circuit path and put railings around the central pasture.

Contractors carried out extensive repairs to the bridge and the dam on the bottom lake. The garden opened to the public in 1996.

In 2002 we reinstated the Serpentine Lake and the cascade, and replanted the wilderness.