Historic Landscapes

The Magic Garden tournament lawn
The Magic Garden tournament lawn The Dragon's Nest, created by Tom Hare The Wild Wood Aerial walkway Panther, in the Wild Beasts' Lair, made by Andrew Tanser Early sketch of The Magic Garden (cropped)
The Magic Garden, Hampton Court Palace

Client: Historic Royal Palaces

RMA won this exciting project to create a new garden for Hampton Court Palace through a rigorous competition process. An imaginative and playful new garden for families, The Magic Garden has been inspired by the rich history of the Palace and the site itself - which was Henry VIII’s former Tiltyard.

A strong garden structure has been developed upon which a series of character areas are layered. These include a tournament ground, wild wood, mythical beasts lair, strange topiary garden, encampment, and a spiral mount with moat and grotto. The journey through the garden provides challenges, obstacles and illusions that play with the notions of hierarchy, status and scale.

The practice worked with a number of artists and craftsmen who have created various mythical and heraldic beasts which occupy the garden, including a steam-emitting, 30 metre-long dragon, and a giant dragon’s nest in woven willow. The garden opened to the public at Easter 2016.