Baroque Water Gardens transformed in £7.2m restoration of Bushy Park

Bushy Park has made the leap from "kitchen cleaner to princess" following a major restoration of its Baroque Water Gardens.

The 18th-century Water Gardens were opened last week by HRH Princess Alexandra, following an 18-month project to transform them.

Land Use Consultants formulated the design for the gardens — based on an anonymous painting — and the restoration work was carried out by English Landscapes, Gavin Jones, Frosts and Fountains.

The Royal Parks was awarded £4.5m by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards a budget of £7.2m for the Bushy Park restoration. More than 80 projects will improve facilities, habitats, gardens and buildings. The Water Gardens project cost £780,000, of which £670,000 was construction costs.

Royal Parks chief executive Mark Camley said: "The opening of the Water Gardens marks almost the culmination of the whole Bushy Park project, which has been ongoing for the past nine years. Bushy Park is often thought of as the Cinderella of the Royal Parks; it's not the oldest, largest or best known.

"It has made the leap from the kitchen cleaner to the princess."

The gardens were originally built for Charles Montagu, First Earl of Halifax, who was a politician, writer and keeper of Bushy Park from 1709 to 1715.

HLF London committee chairman Wesley Kerr said: "The Water Gardens are the piece de resistance of the restoration project."

 

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