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Lost gardens to be revealed at Walmer Castle, including trail with Amazing Spaces craftsman William Hardie

By Angela Cole

A castle's historic glen is set to be revealed to visitors for the first time in more than 100 years.

The lost Pleasure Grounds at Walmer Castle, near Deal, which were first laid out by William Pitt the Younger, are due to reopen soon after a £2.3m transformation, including £1.35m from the National Lottery.

It will also include a new children’s play trail in collaboration with George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces craftsman William Hardie.

The project means visitors will be able to explore every corner of the castle's 11 acres and see the lost quarry garden for the first time.

Walmer Castle's hidden gardens are set to be revealed
Walmer Castle's hidden gardens are set to be revealed

Mark Brent, English Heritage head gardener at Walmer Castle, said: “Walmer Castle & Gardens is one of English Heritage’s hidden gems and this project has really allowed us to do justice to the pleasure grounds beyond the formal gardens. The Glen in particular was at risk of being permanently lost so we are delighted that we have been able to reclaim it for future generations to explore.”

Walmer Castle's hidden gardens include a project with George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces craftsman William Hardie Picture: English Heritage
Walmer Castle's hidden gardens include a project with George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces craftsman William Hardie Picture: English Heritage

The project has included a new collaboration with Kent Refugee Action Network (KRAN), a new children's play trail, a new Glasshouse cafe and the chance to re-present the Paddock and surrounding woodland as it would have looked in William Pitt the Younger's day, plus new interpretation telling the stories of Walmer’s gardens.

As part of the project at Walmer, English Heritage has created two new horticultural apprenticeships and almost doubled the volunteering opportunities.

* Look out for a feature on the work in the KM Group's What's On soon.

Read more: All the latest entertainments and events news for across Kent.

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