Painshill Park Trust is committed to researching and restoring Painshill 18th Century landscape garden as near as possible to the concept of its creator, the Hon. Charles Hamilton. The Trust appointed Cliveden Conservation as the main contractor to reconstruct the Temple of Bacchus, one of the most important follies within the landscape garden.
Summary of the work carried out
Inspired by Renaissance art and his Grand Tours, Hamilton created a sequence of breathtaking and surprising vistas at Painshill. The landscapes form living works of art into which Hamilton placed follies for dramatic effect.
The Temple of Bacchus, designed and built in the style of classical architecture in circa 1762, housed Hamilton’s collection of antiques along with the statue of Bacchus and twelve busts of Caesar. The contents of the temple were sold in 1797 and the temple was left to ruins with only the footprint remaining.
With the help of substantial research, designs for the new temple were drawn up and construction commenced. To replicate the frieze, impressions were taken from the original main house which imitated the ones illustrated in art work of the temple.
The tympanum relief was hand modelled at Cliveden Conservation Workshop and was based on the parade of Bacchus. Both modern building techniques and traditional materials and methods were employed to create this triumphant reconstruction of the original 1762 temple from the ground upwards.
Cliveden Conservation successfully rebuilt the Temple of Bacchus. This was another rare opportunity for Cliveden Conservation to work on Painshill’s unique historic follies having previously completed the restoration of the crystal Grotto.
Painshill Park Trust Ltd
Principal Conservation Contractor:
What we did
The long awaited restoration of the Temple of Bacchus was completed Spring 2018, with the exception of the interior scheme. The reconstruction of the temple has played a major part in the Trust’s mission to complete Hamilton’s overall vision. Thanks to generous donations and the foresight of Painshill Park Trust, along with the hard work and skill of the crafts people involved in this project, this important folly has been reinstated for visitors to enjoy.
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