Wrest Park

One of the UK’s finest and least known Gardens was unveiled today in newly restored glory after decades hidden away from the general public’s gaze. BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14370092)

Wrest Park Aerial photo

The 90 acres of Wrest Park in Bedfordshire are unarguably magnificent, probably Britain’s largest “secret garden”, with surprises around every wooded corner. Although it is a nationally important garden its existence has remained virtually unknown.

Scott White and Hookins were the Structural engineers for the new visitor centre and Civil Engineers for the new car park and for the new footpaths around the magnificent gardens.

John Watkins, head of gardens and landscape at English Heritage, said Wrest Park was unusual because it retained designs from the 17th century to the 20th century.

You can literally walk through 300 years of garden history,” he said. “It’s this palimpsest of garden history that is so special, but also it is stunningly beautiful – so you can come here whether you want to delve into the history of the place or just look at it.”

Wrest Park opens to the public on Thursday, revealing the first fruits of an ambitious 20-year restoration plan. Within the grounds there are examples of work by some of the most famous names in English gardening and architecture history.

English Heritage took over in 2006 and devised a restoration plan stretching over 20 years. It was helped by a £1.14m grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The first phase being seen this week includes the new visitor centre, car park, restored Italian and rose gardens and access to the miles of pathways and vistas set over the 90 acres.

Wrest Park tells the story of England’s love affair with landscape. It is a unique place capturing 300 years of gardening history. So now with the successful completion of this first phase of restoration, Wrest Park can rightfully reclaim its place as one of the great gardens of England.

Simon Thurley , English Heritage's chief executive

More information about Wrest Park can be found on the English Heritage Website

Structural Engineering Civil Engineering