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 Gardens' crumbling ruins

Text to donate

Help us conserve and restore Stowe's treasures like the Temple of Friendship. 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 thirtieth 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 updates

06 Jul 18

Play time in the Labyrinth

The Labyrinth is well under way to full restoration. Wander through the winding routes to discover the skittle alley with giant abacus to keep score whilst enjoying the giant swing. You can find out more in the full length article at the bottom of this page.

Wooden skittles stand in formation on the grass

11 Jan 18

3,500 trees and shrubs planted in the Labyrinth

Work continues in the area of the Western Garden known as the Labyrinth as we re-instate the paths and planting beds around our newly returned Wrestlers statue. The team have been busy planting over 3,500 shrubs and trees using varieties which would have been found in the eighteenth century. As the plants mature they will create the setting around our Wrestlers and frame the views out into the garden beyond.

The garden team planting trees and shrubs in the Labyrinth at Stowe, Buckinghamshire

06 Nov 17

The Wrestlers return to the Labyrinth

Stowe has welcomed another statue back into the landscape, missing for nearly a century. The figures of the wrestlers, also known as the Roman Boxers, stood in the Labyrinth in the Western Garden, until the Temple-Grenville family came into crisis and had to sell off their possessions in the 19th and 20th centuries. Cliveden Conservation have faithfully copied the Wrestlers from original bronzes at Blenheim Palace, cast in reconstituted stone and put it back in place in the Labyrinth for the public to view once again.

The Wrestlers statue returns to Stowe, Buckinghamshire