© English Heritage
The magnificent gardens surrounding Chiswick House in west London are to be restored thanks to £7.6 million in funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The gardens at Chiswick House, were the work of William Kent who is credited as being the first man to link gardens with the wider landscape. Kent’s work at Chiswick set in motion a shift in tastes – away from the formal gardens of the preceding centuries toward a taste for the carefully and sympathetically landscaped estates of the 18th and 19th centuries.
However, in recent years this internationally renowned historic landscape has suffered deterioration due to a lack of resources and money.
News of the funding comes a massive boost to the Chiswick House and Gardens Trust who have been developing a £11.7 million regeneration project to revive the gardens and improve infrastructure and facilities.
© English Heritage
“My trustees and I are thrilled and extremely grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the award,” said the Trust’s Chairman, Rupert Hambro. "People already come from near and far to enjoy Chiswick House and Gardens’ atmosphere and it is the history of the place that makes it so special,”
“It is one of the most important landscapes in the world for its influence on garden design, in particular the English Landscape Movement. Chiswick House is also one of the most glorious examples of neo-Palladian architecture, so it is highly appropriate that during Palladio’s 500th anniversary that the setting for this stunning house should be restored.”
Planning consent from Hounslow Council for the proposals means the Trust just needs one final push to raise the £1m to complete the funding for the project.
In the meantime, work will begin at the site in spring 2008 on the project that will see the gardens restored, with miles of paths renewed, over 1,600 new trees planted, the conservatory brought back to life so that the rare camellia collection can continue to thrive and a new café and lavatories built.
Further details of the restoration project can be found at www.chgt.org.uk