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Great Pagoda restoration, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Restoration of the Great Pagoda

Update 30/07/2018

Polly Putnam, one of the Historic Royal Palaces curators who has worked for the last 2 years on the restoration of the Great Pagoda, has kindly provided us with the text of the speech she made at the re-opening of the Great Pagoda, described in the update below.

Here is the text – it is a fascinating and very personal account of the meticulous research behind the restoration, uncovering definitive evidence that the dragons were indeed an original feature of the design.

Polly Putnam Great Pagoda opening talk

Update 13/07/2018

In recognition of our sponsorship of one of the newly restored dragons, we were invited by Historic Royal Palaces  to the opening of the Great Pagoda yesterday in the presence of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.

 

 

 

 

 

The Prince of Wales at the opening

The Pagoda is now open to access so you can climb to the top and take in the panoramic views across the Gardens and beyond. The dragons are most easily seen from the outside though you can see their snouts and the occasional claw if you look hard from inside.

The dragons restored

The ground floor entrance has been transformed with information on the history of the Pagoda, a panel showing who contributed to the restoration, including the Kew Society, and two large encased automata – turn the handles and different objects and figures in the scene start to move. Below is a picture of the Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Richard Deverell admiring one of the installations which depicts William Chambers, the architect of the Pagoda, visiting Canton.

Richard Deverell admiring the automata

At each level the floor you have reached is shown in beautiful lettering. Here is the number 5 – the level occupied by our dragon.

The floral lettering for the number of each level

At the top floor are equally beautifully executed descriptions of the vistas, including our dragon’s view of the Royal Observatory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is no doubt that the restoration was necessary. Here is a photo of one problem area now addressed:

Update 04/07/2018

The Great Pagoda within the Royal Botanic Gardens has been beautifully restored to its former glory. The meticulous work has been overseen by the Historic Royal Palaces. The Kew Society sponsored 1 of the flight of 80 dragons which were one of the original  features of the Pagoda. Our dragon is on level 5, position 6, and, appropriately we think given our concerns for the heritage of Kew, faces the historic King’s Observatory.
You can see our dragon here:
You can see more background to the history of the Great Pagoda here: https://www.kew.org/kew-gardens/attractions/great-pagoda
And on the King’s Observatory here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King%27s_Observatory

Richmond in Bloom

Richmond in Bloom: Best Village in Bloom Update 08/07/2018 The judges – Hugo Ross Tatum and Ed Locke  – viewed our entry last week, starting with the bench/planter outside the Kew Greenhouse cafe.  We are grateful to the Shoe Station for their flower laden tricycle and to Canopy for their floral window display to helpContinue Reading

Air Quality

Update 13/08/2018 Clean Air Strategy 2108 consultation We have today submitted comments on the consultation by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on a new Clean Air Strategy. You can see the consultation document here: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/environmental-quality/clean-air-strategy-consultation/user_uploads/clean-air-strategy-2018-consultation.pdf   And our response, urging the Government to take stronger and more rapid action, including a newContinue Reading

Citroen Garage Site Capital Interchange Way, Brentford

Citroen Garage site at Capital Interchange Way, Brentford (Hounslow Council resf P/2017/4692 and 01508/A/P6, Richmond Council ref 17/4104/CON and GLA reference D&P/4279) Update 21/07/2018 We gave evidence and answered questions from the London Mayor at the Public Hearing held yesterday. You can see the proceedings here: https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/planning/planning-applications-and-decisions/public-hearings/citroen-site-public-hearing John Ricketts on behalf of the Kew SocietyContinue Reading

9 Station Approach

9 Station Approach (formerly Ma Cuisine) ref 16/3159/FUL and 16/3160/ADV, 16/4483/FUL and 18/2162/ES191 Update 07/08/2018 A section 191 application has finally been submitted by the applicant (ref 18/2162/ES191) to establish use of the premises as Class A3 – a restaurant. We do not contest use for this purpose but have drawn attention to comments weContinue Reading

Telecoms Masts and equipment

Telecoms Land opposite 105 North Road – telecoms equipment (Richmond Council ref. 18/1989/TEL) Update 10/08/2018 This application has been refused on grounds of the detrmental impact on conservation areas and listed buildings as well as potential impact on trees. We are asking Richmond Council to consider a pro-active strategy, building on their Supplementary Planning Document,Continue Reading

Chiswick Curve (Land at Chiswick Roundabout) Public Inquiry

Land at Chiswick Roundabout Public Inquiry Chiswick Curve (Hounslow Council ref P/2015/5555 and 5560 and appeal refs APP/F5540/W/17/3180962 and APP/F5540/Z/17/3173208) Update 13/07/2018 We now have confirmation that the Inspector will submit his report to the Secretary of State on or before 22 October 2018. Once submitted we will be told of the expected timetable forContinue Reading

NEWS

Great Pagoda restoration, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
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