Restoring Uppark's historic path network

Archaeological dig for the historic paths at Uppark, West Sussex

Although Uppark owes much to the vision of renowned landscape designer Humphry Repton, his work incorporated an earlier key element that has since been lost. We're going to put that right.

Restoring our historic paths

The original network of meandering paths led the visitor on a carefully choreographed journey through the gardens, with each turn gradually revealing important horticultural features designed to make the most of Uppark's idyllic position high on the South Downs.

Archived plans and photographs offer a glimpse of how the paths may have looked, and archaeological work has confirmed much of their route. While alterations made to the gardens during the 20th century detracted from the original vision, work is already underway to restore what was Uppark's final significant phase in its development.

The original path outside the East Pavilion at Uppark, photographed in the early 1900s
Image of the original historic paths by the East Pavilion at Uppark, West Sussex
The original path outside the East Pavilion at Uppark, photographed in the early 1900s

What will we be doing?

The project will run over three years, with the first phase seeing the restoration of the paths across the café lawn. Some work has already been completed, such as the removal of the island beds (a late 20th century addition) while much of the rest of the work will take place over the winter months so as to minimise disruption as much as possible.

Wherever possible, the paths will be constructed from natural materials that closely resemble those originally used and, once completed, will significantly improve access for visitors at all times of the year.

Evidence dating back to 1873 reveals the route of the original paths at Uppark
Close up of Uppark from an 1873 OS map. Uppark, West Sussex
Evidence dating back to 1873 reveals the route of the original paths at Uppark

How can you help?

The project is estimated to cost in the region of £50,000 which will be financed through fundraising events and activities.

If you feel able to make a contribution - either as a volunteer or by making a donation - we'd love to hear from you.