A brand-new outdoor Adventure Play experience will open at Blenheim Palace next month.

The Lost Garden, which covers a site larger than a football pitch inside the palace's historic Walled Gardens, features tree-top walkways, towers, bridges, climbing nets, tunnels, ziplines slides and rope swings alongside themed and interactive play equipment and sensory features.

In its construction it echoes various architectural aspects of the Palace including its boathouse and gateways.

It also contains a replica of Vanbrugh’s Grand Bridge incorporating features from his original design which were never built.

A large seating terrace overlooks the central water play feature.

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The adventure playground has been created by renowned children’s play design company CAP.co, and was built by the award-winning local family firm of Kingerlee.

Kingerlee has worked with Blenheim Palace since the 1960s when it had a team of painters and plumbers based permanently on site.

Among its many local projects are the BBC Radio Oxford studios in Summertown, the Jacqueline du Pré concert hall at St Hilda’s College and helping to install the Antony Gormley statue on top of Exeter College.

Blenheim Palace’s managing director Heather Carter said: "The Lost Garden is a hugely exciting development for us and we wanted to utilise the skills and expertise of a highly regarded local firm to help bring it to life.

Witney Gazette:

“Kingerlee has amassed a huge amount of experience and knowledge in its 150-plus years.

"It works on both sensitive heritage projects and cutting-edge contemporary design, making it the perfect partner for this complex construction in our historic walled gardens."

David Kingerlee, chairman of Kingerlee Ltd, said the company was "honoured" to be working on The Lost Garden project.

He said: “It has been a pleasure to be working within the grounds of the estate again, surrounded by the exceptional, famous Capability Brown designed parkland and gardens.

“Our team has been working hard to ensure that we deliver the exacting standards which the Blenheim setting demands for this outstanding new Lost Garden experience.

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“We are excited to see this magical play area come to life as the project nears completion and look forward to continuing our association with this very special place over years to come."

An extensive water feature which includes boulders, rills, pools, stepping stones, bridges, fountains, jets and log flumes and sluice gates runs through the centre of the garden is being built by specialist contractor Fairwater.

Paths and edging areas are being created by Faringdon-based Radcot Groundworks.


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This story was written by Miranda Norris, she joined the team in 2021 and covers news across Oxfordshire as well as news from Witney.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Miranda.Norris@newsquest.co.uk. Or find her on Twitter: @Mirandajnorris

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