One of only four Palladian bridges of this design in the world can be crossed at Prior Park, which was created in the 18th century by local entrepreneur Ralph Allen, with advice from ‘Capability’ Brown and the poet Alexander Pope. This year, things are different at Prior Park as the garden undergoes major restoration on its historic dams. Built in the mid-1700s, both time and the destructive American signal crayfish have taken their toll on these structures and the dams are in need of major and expert attention.
The project is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see conservation in action on the garden’s 18th-century landscape engineering. It will allow us to strengthen the dams, refill the lakes, reinstate paths and put back a small cascade – a long-lost original feature. Set in a sweeping valley above Bath, visitors can enjoy magnificent views and are a stone’s throw away from the Bath Skyline – a six-mile circular route encompassing beautiful woodlands and meadows, an Iron Age hill fort, Roman settlements, 18th-century follies and spectacular views.