Project to recreate London estate accused of subverting history by opponents, who say elaborate grounds may never have existed
The restoration, even at huge cost, of what English Heritage calls one of “the great lost gardens of London” sounds a worthwhile, even noble, project. But what if that “lost garden” is a myth, a pipe dream never really built? English Heritage plans to transform the estate of Marble Hill, a grand house by the Thames, by reintroducing elaborate gardens it says were inspired by Alexander Pope, the satirist and poet, and 18th-century royal garden designer Charles Bridgeman.
The original designs featured a ninepin bowling alley, an ice-house seat and a flower garden, surrounded by twisting paths and groves of trees and English Heritage plans to recreate all this, alongside a “vibrant” cafe and children’s play area.