Built in 1894, The Cliveden Maze Virtually Disappeared by the Late 1930′s:
Over 100 years since it was first created, the ‘lost’ Cliveden maze in the grounds of Cliveden House has been re-created using more than 1,100 two-metre-high yew trees.
The Original Cliveden Maze
The Cliveden maze was built for Lord Astor in 1894. Located beside the River Thames on estate of the Cliveden National Trust, the maze was last plotted on an Ordnance Survey map in 1923 but by the late 1930s it had virtually disappeared, apart from a few surviving yew trees. Amazingly, Lord Astor’s Cliveden maze designs were discovered in the archives of the National Trust in 2005.
The Recreation of the Cliveden Maze
Led by Cliveden’s head gardener, the new Cliveden maze has been built as close as possible to the original site. Using over 1,000 metres of steel edging and 60 tonnes of gravel to produce over 500 metres of path, the new Cliveden maze has has taken two years to create. The most challenging part of the project was finding enough fully-grown yew trees to complete it, but once a supplier was found, all 1,100 12-year-old trees were planted in 20 days.
Yew trees create great mazes as they readily form dense hedges and are easily clipped into shape. Although the maze will take a little while to really establish itself and fill out, visitors can enjoy it straight away. And a word of warning – don’t think you can cheat by pushing through the hedges because they are all enclosed by metal railings. And because the maze has yet to appear on Google earth, there’s no cheating using mobile phones either – not that anyone would want to cheat anyway!
Cliveden House is an Italianate mansion built in 1851 and is now a very luxurious five-star hotel. It is 40 minutes from London and 20 minutes from Heathrow Airport, so if you ever want to treat yourself for that special occasion, this grand stately home is the place for that special break. Past guests have included British monarchs, presidents, British prime ministers and ministers, including one John Profumo. Many will remember the Profumo-Christine Keeler affair which scandalized Cliveden House and British politics during the 1960s.
If the room rates are a touch too stiff, you can still view the interior of Cliveden House. Tours of part of the interior are available on certain days and the maze, gardens and woodland are open daily. For opening times and admission costs see the National Trust website on: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-cliveden
Taplow, Maidenhead SL6 0JA
Tel: +44 1628 605069 / +44 1494 755562 (Infoline)