Lost pleasure grounds to open at Walmer Castle

© English Heritage

Walmer Castle’s historic ‘glen’ will be accessible for the first time in over 100 years from the end of April. English Heritage has also invited young refugees to special workshops, with a new learning centre the first major building at the castle in 145 years.

Part of Walmer Castle’s gardens, first laid out by William Pitt the Younger and enjoyed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, will soon reopen for the first time in over 100 years.

The former chalk quarry now known as the Glen – created by Pitt and his trailblazing niece Lady Hester Stanhope – could previously only be glimpsed through a dense and tangled tree canopy. Now, following a £2.3m investment including £1.35m from the National Lottery, which has also involved a new collaboration with Kent Refugee Action Network (KRAN) and includes new education and visitor facilities, people can explore every corner of the castle’s 11 acre historic grounds and discover its lost quarry garden for the first time.

Mark Brent, English Heritage Head Gardener at Walmer Castle, said: “Walmer Castle & Gardens is one of English Heritage’s hidden gems and this project has really allowed us to do justice to the pleasure grounds beyond the formal gardens. The Glen in particular was at risk of being permanently lost so we are delighted that we have been able to reclaim it for future generations to explore.”