Explore a Garden of Magic and History at Hampton Court Palace
On 5th May 2016, Historic Royal Palaces unveiled a new play garden for children: the Magic Garden, at Hampton Court Palace. The Magic Garden is a children’s play area designed to capture the magic, history and legends of the famous Tudor palace.
Cited as Henry VIII’s ‘Pleasure Palace’, the garden aims to recreate history across its themed sections, including a ‘wild wood’ which represents Henry’s love of hunting, five towers to explore and besiege which represent the palaces ‘lost’ Tiltyard towers, among many other hidden gems and treasures waiting to be explored.
Designed by landscape architects, Robert Myers Associates, who have won six gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the garden has been six years in the making. After winning the contract through a rigorous competition process, work began on the design of a contemporary space which embraces the historic, cultural and mythical legacy of the palace.
Although children have enjoyed visiting the palace and the formal gardens over the years, staff felt that there wasn’t a place within the grounds purely for children. The ambition was to create a space dedicated for play, with the hope of truly bringing the history and stories within the palace alive for younger visitors.
Designed for adults and children alike to enjoy, the Magic Garden’s target audience is children aged 2yrs – 13yrs old. Packed full of fun, interactive and educational jewels to discover, CED Stone Group are excited to have supplied 70 tonnes of Celtic boulders and Slabby Sandstone to the project.
Constructed by Frosts Landscapes, who have won over 50 BALI awards to date, the garden incorporates our Celtic Boulders into a water bed, which runs adjacent to a 25ft dragon, who breathes steam when the palace’s clock strikes on the hour.
Suitable for climbing, the dragon is just one of the many mythical creatures waiting to be discovered within the garden. Like the dragon, our Celtic Boulders are suitable for climbing and have been used in various natural play-scapes across the country. They beautifully complement the surrounding area whilst providing physical engagement with the natural world for children.
For those brave enough, the garden also features a secret grotto waiting to be explored, which has been built using Slabby Sandstone from CED Stone Group. Constructed in the same fashion as our popular natural play Yorkstone towers, the construction allows children to climb the grotto, providing a challenging yet engaging learning experience.
With over 17,000 bulbs and 3,000 shrubs planted by the palace’s gardening team, every detail of the garden has been designed to create a magical atmosphere and an immersive, engaging environment, packed full of wonders to explore and discover.
Open daily from 10:00 – 18:00, the garden is now open and will open annually throughout the summer season. For more information visit hrp.org.uk