Restoration Intern Bye-bye Bacchus

2 July 2015


Embarking on our project to record the entire history of restoration at Stowe, we encountered a number of temples that had died long before aid from the National Trust was available, so long ago that resuscitation has not been possible. The National Trust assumed ownership of Stowe Gardens and its many temples, statues and monuments when an anonymous benefactor offered £1.8 million to ensure essential restoration occurred and public access regained. Unfortunately, for the beautiful Bacchus, this was too late.

In 1927 Sir Robert Lorimer was responsible for the destruction of the temple. On its site he built the new school chapel, in the process also wrenching 16 columns from the Temple of Concord and Victory. Concord and Victory, crippled by this violence, did not receive the correct attention, and spent many years propped up with ugly and unsupportive red brick walls.

Fortunately this temple was triumphantly restored in 1994 to fight again.  But not all survived Lorimer’s wrath, and it was bye-bye Bacchus.