Gargoyles on Pergola Walk showcase Hever’s finest
The grottoes on Pergola Walk are a much-loved feature of the Italian Garden. With the gentle trickle of water over the moss-covered rocks, a stroll along the water feature is one of the most tranquil places to be in the gardens.
The grottoes, originally installed by Lord Astor, are planted with ferns and moisture loving plants creating a luscious wall of greenery in every season. Amongst the 17 bays of the grottos are gargoyles which spurt out water into the ponds below, but as they’re constantly open to the elements, they require a lot of maintenance and occasionally replacing.
Maintaining the Hever estate is a labour of love, so the new gargoyles share the faces of staff who have dedicated many years of their lives to keeping Hever so special. Head Gardener, Neil Miller and co-head of Maintenance, Clive Manning already grace the grottoes – casts were taken of their faces to ensure a good likeness in the final gargoyles.
This year it is the turn of the former marketing manager, Ann Watt and former gardener Peter Webster, who now works on the day visitor team. Over time the new gargoyles will become wrapped up with greenery and will blend into their natural habitat.
This is a practice which we hope will become a tradition and means that Hever’s more recent history won’t be forgotten. On your next visit, take time to peruse Pergola Walk and see if you can spot the new gargoyles in all their glory.