Restoring Stowe 2015-2019


The Landscape Programme

2015 saw the start of a new phase of restoration for the gardens at Stowe. The Landscape Programme comprises of 54 tasks taking place over five years to reinstate many of the lost temples and monuments that once ‘dressed’ the gardens like pieces of a theatre set whilst undertaking maintenance on structures and lakes. Highlights will also see the opening of parts of the gardens not currently open to the public.

What restoration work will take place?

This project will transform the gardens of Stowe with almost another 1/3 of the existing size being added and made accessible to the public, including the reinstatement of land currently used as a 9-hole golf course.

The Western Garden

The Western Garden will see the restoration and recreation of the Queens Theatre, the installation of The Wrestlers statues, and the Wood and Spinney being revealed. In the Grecian Valley many iconic statues will be returned to their places including Hercules and Boar; Statue of the Fane of Pastoral Poetry; The Grecian Valley Urn; The Circle of the Dancing Faun.

The Elysian Fields

The Elysian Fields, in part designed by William Kent, will see the return of the Temple of Modern Virtue – deliberately built as a ruin to show the degradation of the Walpole government, the Marquess urn, the statue of Apollo and the nine Muses as well as restoration work on the Shell Bridge.

Forever for everyone, how you can help restore Stowe?

The gardens at Stowe are lovingly cared for by a team of staff and volunteers. If you care passionately about the future of Stowe and enjoy seeing it develop through restoration, it's the perfect chance for you to get involved.

As a charity we rely heavily on support from volunteers. We have roles for gardeners, ha-ha wall restorers, bakers, administrators all of which help care for Stowe, raising funds to go back into the restoration of the gardens.

Ways to donate

Another way to get involved would be to make a charitable donation for our current restoration work, we are currently looking to raise vital funds of £648,000. Every donation will help make a significant impact on Stowe over the next five years and one that you can come back year after year and enjoy seeing it develop.

A golden stone statue of two naked men locked in a fight stand atop a plinth, depicting the story of Sampson and the Philistine. Behind is lush green shrubbery to create a backdrop as the statue can be seen across a valley
Thank you

Give online

So far we've reached £349,566 in donations to the Stowe appeal. Your generous gifts have helped us tremendously.

Stowe Garden's broken Gothic Cross

Text to donate

Help us rebuild Stowe's lost treasures like the Gothic Cross. Help us keep the stories of Stowe alive and Text STOWE to 70123 to donate £3. This is a charity donation service. You will be charged £3, plus one message at your standard network rate. The National Trust will receive 100% of your donation. If you’d rather we didn’t contact you in future, text NOCOMMS NT to 70060. If you wish to discuss this mobile payment call 0203 282 7863. A Registered charity in England and Wales (no: 205846)

Our goal

By 2019 as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the gardens, the completion of this project will have brought us considerably closer to our goal of restoring Stowe to its eighteenth-century heyday when visitors came from far and wide to marvel at their scale and splendour. Their influence began what later became known as the English landscape garden movement, which changed the face of landscapes across Europe.

Follow our progress

Catch up with all the latest from our restoration work at Stowe by following us on Facebook and Twitter.


Latest posts

17 Jun 17

Return of the Gothic Cross

After months of intricate work the Gothic Cross has returned to Stowe in its historic location in the Elysian Fields. After the Temple-Grenville family went bankrupt they sold off their monuments to repay debts, leaving the gardens missing important pieces of their story. We have been working with Cliveden Conservation to return a replica of the gorgeous Gothic Cross. This has involved casting hundreds of delicate pieces from original drawings and using them alongside surviving statuary. The work is now complete and the Gothic Cross proudly stands in its intended place for visitors to enjoy once again.

Gothic cross sits within the hilly landscape at Stowe

28 Mar 17

Gothic Cross Completed

Construction of the Gothic Cross has been completed and the footpath has now re-opened to visitors. Nestled in a small opening behind the Temple of Ancient Virtue, the Gothic Cross stands at over 4 metres and consists of 120 handmade pieces.

01 Feb 17

Gothic Cross construction

Construction of the Gothic Cross continues. Only the bottom sides of the cross survived a tree falling on it in the 1950's. We've used an original guidebook drawing, various photos and hundreds of fragments to recreate the cross in the original Coade stone used by the first Duke in 1814. It was built in memory of his mother who died in 1812.

Cubed base of the Gothic Cross made out of a hard grey Coaed stone sitting in the construction studio