Secret lido uncovered

22nd May, 2017

The National Trust have uncovered a secret outdoor swimming pond at Standen House in West Sussex.

Gardeners restoring the Victorian property came across the long forgotten lido while clearing overgrown parts of the garden; in fact they almost fell in! Standen House is the former home of horticulturist Margaret Beale and the pool was built in the 1890s for the family of seven children. It had become long forgotten after being hidden for decades in the garden.

The National Trust plans to restore the pond to its former glory and allow members of the public to enjoy. It would be the first time a pool like it had been opened to the public at one of its properties.

The pool was uncovered as part of a £500,000 restoration project, which has recently been completed after 5 years. Letters and diary entries by Margaret reveal how the children spent happy summers in the pool. After Margaret died, overgrowth swallowed up the garden and the pool was lost. The gardens and house were given to the National Trust in 1972.

The accidental pool was hoping to open this summer, however, challenges with water quality means it will be 2018 before you can take a dip in it. A new exhibition about the garden and its revival is taking place in the house until 3 September and will include many of Margaret Beale’s original documents that were used for the restoration.

To find out more and visit Standen House visit: