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Lincoln experts revive historic English garden

A team of conservators from the University of Lincoln will be working to revive a historic garden.

The multi-million project in The Swiss Garden in Bedfordshire will see the team restore a 19th century garden and item of national heritage back to its former glory.

The garden is considered important as it is a rare survivor of the picturesque Regency style.

Its restoration is supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the conservation team is a mix of students, graduates and experts from the university’s consultancy, Crick Smith.

They will repair and protect the ornamental Swiss Cottage at the centre of the garden.

This means they will redecorate the cottage, restoring unique patterns created by bark and Monterey pine cones and decorative panels of intricate paintwork.

So far, the team have already revealed significant findings that could see the iconic cottage undergo a reappraisal to be upgraded from a Grade II to a Grade I listed building.

Some of the panels the team will work on had been taken from the London Coliseum in Regent’s Park, a majestic building established in the 1820s before being demolished in 1874.

The Lincoln team have already revealed significant findings.
The Lincoln team have already revealed significant findings.

Michael Crick-Smith, Principal Conservator-Researcher, said: “Our investigations discovered that some of the panels had been taken from the Coliseum when the building was due to be demolished, and were then adjusted slightly and re-instated within the Swiss Cottage.

“This means that the cottage is now recognised as being of even greater significance.”

Ian Crick-Smith, Principal Lead for the project, added: “We are delighted to be able to offer students the chance to gain commercial experience on projects like this, as it is invaluable for their development as professional conservators.

“The gifted team involved in this restoration project highlights the depth of expertise we have here at Lincoln.

“I graduated from Lincoln as one of the first degree students in 1995 and Gill Thwaites, our Project Manager, also studied at the university before becoming a lecturer.

“We are now working alongside a number of recent graduates, interns and international exchange students to preserve the heritage of iconic buildings around the country.”