Restoration work starts on Hever Castle’s Loggia terrace

December 06 2017 | Garden

Major repair and restoration work started on the terrace in November to preserve the stone structure for future generations.

The Loggia area with its Nymph’s Fountain inspired by the Trevi Fountain in Rome is over 100 years old and is one of the highlights of the Italian Garden which was built to house former owner William Waldorf Astor’s sculpture collection.

Visitors will still be able to walk through the Loggia and look out on the Lake while the vital maintenance work on the lower piazza, which will take several months, is carried out.

The stone structure with its imposing columns was built on a river plain and over the years it has suffered from subsidence and tree roots and weeds getting into the walls.
The front retaining wall, which is on the Lake, is leaning out and there is subsidence on the whole structure.

The works will see the wall on the lower terrace taken down and all the paving stones on the surface removed and each individual stone catalogued to ensure they are put back in the same place.

Any cracked paving will be repaired or replaced and reinforced concrete will be laid before the stones are relaid and the wall rebuilt.

Indicators, known as tell-tales, have been put on the cracks and are being monitored every few months to see if there is any movement or whether the subsidence is historic.
Hever Castle is working very closely with structural engineers and building architects who have said that the structure is safe.

The work, which will be completed by April 2018, will also mean that the lower terraces will drain properly as it occasionally floods in the winter.

It is part of ongoing maintenance work in the Italian Garden which have included relaying the areas of stone around Half Moon Pond, relaying paving on Pergola Walk and which will see work continue on the Loggia in winter 2018.

CEO Duncan Leslie: “We are gradually repairing the Italian Gardens so they will last another 100 years plus.”