The beautiful Sunken Garden at West Dean reopened in the Spring
of 2014 after a six year period of restoration and in July 2014 was
awarded a Sussex Heritage Trust Award - Landscape & Gardens
Situated at the eastern end of the spectacular Harold Peto-designed Pergola, the Sunken Garden gives the area an intimacy and sense of shelter, in marked contrast to the spaciousness of the surrounding lawns.
The original Sunken Garden is thought to have been built around the late 19th century to replace a late Victorian rose parterre. A complete rebuild was required due to the collapse of the unmortared walls, uneven paving and steps and the tiered planting being heavily infested with weeds. The restoration process allowed the gardeners to expand the proportions of the Sunken Garden so that it is more in keeping with the grandeur and loose formality of the Pergola structure to which the Sunken Garden is linked.
The whole project was carried out in-house by the Gardens team using the original wall stone and other hard landscape materials. The garden was completed, turfed and planted up in Spring 2013. The new planting has been designed to be perennial, to give a long season of floral interest and fragrance throughout the summer months and reflect the nature of the space.