The Great Pagoda at Kew Gardens

In mid-September, we climbed the Great Pagoda in Kew Gardens for the first time.  It was designed by Sir William Chambers and completed in 1762 as a gift for Princess Augusta, the founder of the botanic gardens at Kew. It is a ten-storey octagon tower, standing at almost 50m and each level is 30cm narrower than the one below.IMG_E3945.JPGThe Great Pagoda was restored this year to its original 18th Century splendour, including renewing 80 dragons which originally adorned the roofs, each carved from wood and gilded with real gold.   They were removed in 1784 and were rumoured to have been sold to settle George IV’s gambling debts. However, experts believe that since they were made of wood, they had simply rotted over time.DSC_0372.JPGThere are 235 steps to the top of the tower and the views are spectacular.  It was a little overcast during our visit, but the views were still amazing.DSC_0369.JPGAccess to the Great Pagoda closed at the end of September, but I suspect it will be open again next summer.

 

4 thoughts on “The Great Pagoda at Kew Gardens

  1. That is such a great view from the top. Those restored dragons are quite fierce looking, makes you want to stay away & I bet their roar competes with the jet. I imagine George IV gambled away his time waiting to take the throne …

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