The dams project at Prior Park Landscape Garden

Things will be different at Prior Park in 2019, as the garden undergoes an exciting, yet crucial, restoration project on its 18th-century dams.

What are we doing?

Since the National Trust started caring for Prior Park Landscape Garden in 1993, the aim has been to restore the Georgian landscape to its 1764 splendour, how the garden looked at the time of creator Ralph Allen's death.

The next project in our continuing restoration of the garden will focus on the historic dams at the lower end of the garden. Built in the mid-1700s, both time and the destructive American signal crayfish have taken their toll on these structures, and the dams need major and expert attention to make them fit for the 21st century.


The middle bank between the middle and lower lakes, the bank is overgrown and the cascade between the two is running dry.

The works on the middle dam  

The restoration of the middle dam is a crucial element of the dams project. The middle lake is currently empty to relieve the pressure on the dam. The proposed works will help return the lake to its former glory and restore its reflections.

The view from the lower lake up the landscape garden, there is overgrown vegetation and the banks are slipping into the water.

The works on the lower dam  

Another important aspect of the dams project is the future-proofing of the lower dam. The works on this part of the garden will focus on improving the dam's infrastructure and capability, as well as re-enforcing the lakes damaged banks.

Why are we doing it?

  • To restore the reflections and the historic cascade.

  • For long term resilience against extreme weather events and to undertake repair works.

  • To restore the historic landscape.

  • To improve visitor experience.