This year we’re celebrating 100 years of our famous Italianate Terraces. Begun in 1905 and completed just before the outbreak of World War 1, the construction was massive earth moving achievement done by men without modern machinery, the results of which delight hundreds of thousands of visitors to Bodnant Garden each year.
We’re delving into the record books to find out more about the ambitious project and the people who made it a reality…and here’s how you can help, by letting us know of any personal connections your family has with the garden at that time.
A photo of the hillside before The Terraces were begun in 1905, with scrawled X marking the spot… of what?
The five beautiful garden levels were carved out of the grassy hillside which sloped westward down from Bodnant Hall to the valley of the River Hireathlyn; taking in unparalleled views of the Carneddau mountains beyond. What was little more than a steeply sloping lawn just over a century ago – and before that pasture land – is now our Top Rose Terrace, Croquet Terrace, Lily Terrace, Lower Rose Terrace and Canal Terrace, filled with rose beds, pergolas of wisteria and clematis, lily pools and billowing herbaceous borders.
The Top Rose Terrace and Croquet Terrace
The Lily Terrace, Lower Rose and Canal terraces…
…and the Canal Terrace before the Pin Mill was built!
It’s all thanks to the vision of the garden’s owners Laura McLaren and her son Henry, and the labour of those early workmen…some of whom perhaps went away to fight and never came back. As a mark of celebration – and of commemoration in this centenary of the outbreak of the Great War – we’ll be sharing stories and pictures in the coming weeks. If you have any information about that early history of Bodnant Garden we’d love to hear from you!
The terraces during construction and just after completion