Rare opportunity to visit Kitchen Walled Garden

Visitors invited to gardens as part of Arts Festival

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Community Arts Festival at Chiswick House & Gardens

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Visitors to the free two-day Chiswick House and Gardens Community Arts Festival on 24 and 25 September will enjoy a rare glimpse of the beautiful Chiswick House walled Kitchen Garden - only the second time that this area of the grounds has been open to the public.

The walled garden, which will be open on both days from 12 till 5 p.m., will play host to a variety of children’s activities that are sure to keep the little ones busy. Children will love participating in the interactive cookery display, which will be using produce from the Kitchen Garden, and they can find out more about Chiswick’s past at the children’s library display. There will also be a drawing bench, where they can indulge their creative side by drawing pictures of the garden, in return for small prizes throughout the day.

Busy little bees will find the display hive fascinating while the grown ups will appreciate a variety of locally produced food including home-produced honey and fresh baked bread. Food lovers will be further tempted by an array of organic cheeses and olive oils.

The walled kitchen garden area of Chiswick House grounds dates from 1683. It had been overgrown since the 1980s and was re-opened in May this year. Now, with the help of Chiswick Horticultural Society, it is giving schoolchildren the opportunity to learn about planting, maintaining and eating fresh vegetables, as well as the historical importance of the kitchen garden.

The opening of the walled garden is just one of the many activities planned for the festival, which will be a celebration of Chiswick House and Gardens, and a special event for the whole family. There will be international music and dance, as well as performances and art created by local community groups and schools, hands-on activities, stalls, and guided tours held over the two days offering visitors an opportunity to fully explore one of the treasures of West London.

The festival, developed and delivered by the English Heritage Outreach and Education teams, with the support of the Culture 2000 programme of the European Union, is part of a major regeneration project for the site.

Earlier this year, a new charitable trust was set up between English Heritage and the London Borough of Hounslow to oversee the restoration, management and protection of this Grade I villa and its gardens, which has been enjoyed as a public park since 1929. An application has been lodged with the Heritage Lottery Fund to support phase one, encompassing the landscape regeneration elements. The project was given a significant boost by £600,000 in funding from the Wolfson Gardens Challenge Fund in September 2004, a figure English Heritage has matched.


September 9, 2005