Kew Garden’s Pagoda is currently undergoing a long-overdue restoration, and there’s a chance to climb up the scaffolding and get a close-up view of the historic building.

Originally one of the jewels in the crown of Georgian London, it was a building so unusual that a suspicious public was unconvinced it would remain standing. Designed at the height of the 18th-century craze for Chinoiserie, The Great Pagoda at Kew was famously adorned with eighty brightly coloured wooden dragons.

When it first opened it was said that the view from the top could reach as far as 40 miles. Sadly it’s not been possible to go to the top for many years as the Great Pagoda is in need of restoration work. Which is finally being carried out.

Each tour will be led by 2 trained volunteers who will take a group of up to 10 people on at least two different places on site to talk about aspects of the conservation work such as brickwork and masonry, roofing, timber and joinery, paint finishes, glazing etc.

Note this event involves climbing on the external enclosed scaffold at a considerable height on a busy building site. All participants must wear suitable footwear and clothing.

As the Pagoda is inside Kew Gardens, you’ll be escorted from the Lion Gate Entrance to the Pagoda and back out again.

They “discourage” the use of cameras on the tour.

Tours cost £15, and run between 25th July to 25th August. Tickets can be booked here.


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