16 May 2006
From our 2006 Archives - note that the pagoda is no longer open, however the panoramic view from the top can be viewed here.
The Chinese pagoda at Kew Gardens is opening to the public for the first time in recent memory. It will be open from 23rd May until 24th September 2006.
Built in 1762, it was at the time the tallest Chinese building in Europe. It was designed by Kew architect William Chambers at a time when all things Chinese were very novel and fashionable in Europe. It is debateable whether William Chambers' design is completely authentic - modern Chinese visitors argue that it is nothing like a pagoda that you would see in China. But it's an interesting early attempt by the West to represent the East.
|The Chinese pagoda in Summer. Courtesy of Kew Gardens.|
The pagoda is over 50 feet high, and gives views as far as the new Wembley Arch and Canary Wharf. But if you're unable to climb the 253 stairs to the top, you can still enjoy the panorama here
The Chinese pagoda at Kew £3 tickets - (in addition to Kew Gardens entry fee)
Timed tickets all day until 17.30 weekdays, 18.30 weekends
Not suitable for children under 5, and no wheelchair access