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20.6.13

Crystals formed inside an 18th century restored grotto at Painshill Park landscape garden in Cobham, SurreyIt looks like something out of a fairytale.
But this sparkling 18th century crystal grotto is very much a reality - and has today been unveiled after a one-year restoration project.
Writer, photographer and broadcaster Lady Lucinda Lambton, who has been described as a 'crusader' for the nation's architectural heritage, placed the last crystal in the grotto's stalactite mineral decoration.

Crystals formed inside an 18th century restored grotto at Painshill Park landscape garden in Cobham, Surrey
Stalactite decorations inside an 18th century restored grotto at Painshill Park landscape garden in Cobham, Surrey
Stalactite decorations inside an 18th century restored grotto at Painshill Park landscape garden in Cobham, Surrey
It is part of the historic Painshill Park landscape garden created between 1738 and 1773
It is part of the historic Painshill Park landscape garden created between 1738 and 1773
It is part of the historic Painshill Park landscape garden created between 1738 and 1773 by politician Charles Hamilton near Cobham, Surrey.
The 158-acre Grade I listed site was inspired by Renaissance art and Hamilton’s Grand Tours of Europe.
Following the £747,400 restoration work, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the grotto will be open to visitors at weekends from next month.
Over 80,000 visitors a year now visit Painshill. 
His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, Royal Patron of Painshill Park Trust also visits Painshill to view the on-going restoration of the 18th century landscape and its iconic follies.
The grounds were created in the naturalistic style between 1738 and 1773, and was the artistic vision of the Honourable Charles Hamilton, 9th son and 14th child of the 6th Earl of Abercorn.
The 158-acre Grade I listed site was inspired by Renaissance art and Hamilton¿s Grand Tours of Europe
The 158-acre Grade I listed site was inspired by Renaissance art and Hamilton¿s Grand Tours of Europe
Following the £747,400 restoration work, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the grotto will be open to visitors at weekends from next month
Following the £747,400 restoration work, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the grotto will be open to visitors at weekends from next month
Charles Hamilton decided to create a tranquil landscape setting enriched by follies, water, trees, shrubberies and a vineyard
Charles Hamilton decided to create a tranquil landscape setting enriched by follies, water, trees, shrubberies and a vineyard
Charles Hamilton decided to create a tranquil landscape setting enriched by follies, water, trees, shrubberies and a vineyard
Inspired by Renaissance and contemporary art and visits to Italy on the Grand Tour, the Hon. Charles Hamilton decided to create a tranquil landscape setting enriched by follies, water, trees, shrubberies and a vineyard.
A painter, plantsman and brilliantly imaginative designer, the Hon. Charles Hamilton created a garden of ‘moods’ which change from one part to another, creating a romantic landscape to stimulate the senses and emotions of the visitor.
The Hon. Charles Hamilton created a stunning ‘living work of art’ and was, at the time, in the forefront of the picturesque movement.
The landscape was among the earliest to reflect the changing fashion from geometric formality to the naturalistic style.
Painshill Park Trust is supported by volunteers and in 2011 this dedicated team received The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.
Lady Lucinda Lambton placed the last crystal in the grotto's stalactite mineral decoration
Lady Lucinda Lambton placed the last crystal in the grotto's stalactite mineral decoration
The politician decided to create a tranquil landscape setting enriched by follies, water, trees, shrubberies and a vineyard
The politician decided to create a tranquil landscape setting enriched by follies, water, trees, shrubberies and a vineyard

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