The Japanese Garden at Cowden Castle
Shortlisted Category A: Best Rescue of an Historic Building or Place – under £2million
Sara Stewart has been the driving force of the restoration of the Japanese Garden at Cowden Castle. Her great-aunt’s garden had been vandalised in the 1960s and the family had a long-held ambition to restore the garden to its former glory and open it to the public. The garden was the vision of Ella Christie, a dynamic and visionary female landowner and explorer in the first decades of the 20th century.
Under the skilled and dedicated direction of the Scottish and Japanese team at Cowden, the garden has been saved for future generations and is once again re-emerging as Shah-Rak-Uen, ‘the place of pleasure and delight’. This summer, it reopened to the public for the first time since 1955 and has been extraordinarily popular with visitors, welcoming over 1,900 visitors over 15 days in July.