Privy Gardens restored to 1702 glory
Using incredibly detailed accounts the garden has been restored to how it would have looked for William III in 1702. It contains the Tijou screen, twelve elaborate panels whose central motifs symbolise parts of the United Kingdom in wrought iron.
The Privy Garden is one of the most accurately reconstructed gardens at Hampton Court because so much was recorded about the original 1702 garden.
William III died before it was completely finished and all the gardeners and workmen were so scared of not being paid that they submitted the fullest accounts for all their work.
Even so, many of them including Tijou who made the ironwork and the supplier of the statues were never paid in full by Queen Anne.
The evidence of the workmen’s accounts was further corroborated by archaeology and historic garden plans.
A formal style of gardening
‘The Privy Garden represents a formal style of gardening which fell out of fashion soon after this garden was originally made. Its geometry is not to everyone’s taste but many find it extremely pleasing to the eye.
This garden from Henry VIII’s day was always the King’s private garden, and very few people would ever have gained admittance to it up until the 18th century. Even then, it remained a private garden for the grace and favour residents of the palace right up until the early 20th century.’
- Susanne Groom, Curator of Gardens Exhibition
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