Events and News


Grottos and Gardens: Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th June 2021Grottos were the height of fashion in the early eighteenth century and Twickenham is home to two of the most spectacular examples. Pope’s Grotto Preservation Trust and English Heritage, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, are offering a rare chance to visit both Alexander Pope’s grotto in Cross Deep and Henrietta Howard’s grotto at Marble Hill in one day. You will be able to explore and hear about the history that links these two gems of Georgian Twickenham.

On Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th of June, Pope’s Grotto will be open in the morning followed by guided tours of the Marble Hill grotto and gardens in the afternoon. Pope’s Grotto has been partially conserved, with the remainder to be conserved in summer 2022. Marble Hill Park’s Georgian grotto is being restored and an archaeological dig is investigating a second grotto.

More information and booking at TicketSource.


Newsletter 1: Project status, fund-raising events, Pope and gardening and the fate of Pope’s Skull.

Newsletter 2: The status of our conservation project,our last symposium, other local grottos and the ‘Nine Ladies of Crux Easton’.

Newsletter 3: Our recent Heritage Lottery grant, laser-scanning the grotto, the second Grotto at Marble Hill House and “The Residence of the Muses”: a paper on 18th century literary life in Twickenham.

Newsletter 4: Completion of the conservation and lighting of the South Chamber and an article on “Pope’s mortal blow”.

Newsletter 5: Changes to the conservation plan,  recent fund-raising events and open days, our plans for the 300th anniversary of Pope’s arrival in Twickenham, a tragic event in Stanton Harcourt and an abbreviated transcript of a talk by Dr Emrys Jones “an ornament from an inconvenience”. (the full text of Dr Emrys Jones talk “An Ornament from an Inconvenience” can be found here)

Newsletter 6: Restarting the conservation and open days, the “Twickenham Luminaries” lecture series and memories of St Catherines’ old girls.

You can keep informed by subscribing to our email list here.

In the news

This is an article about the restoration project in the Daily Telegraph (15th September 2015) by Victoria Lambert: “Inside Alexander Pope’s hidden grotto”.

Read this article from the Observer (8th May 2016) about our project: “Hope springs eternal: project to save Alexander Pope’s secret grotto”.

Here’s an excellent article in the London Review of Books blog by Mary Wellesley (4th August 2016): “In Pope’s Grotto

Hyperallegenic, an online magazine based in New York, has a good article about us here: “Restoring Alexander Pope’s Glinting Grotto to Its Former Glory”.

A couple of articles about our project have been published in 2 local magazines, not available on the web: The Friends of Tabley House (Cheshire) Newsletter February 2016, and An Baner Kernewek (The Cornish Banner), August 2016.  The latter is a long-standing Cornish cultural magazine. The connection with Pope’s Grotto is made via Dr William Borlase of Ludgvan, who supplied Pope with Cornish minerals for his last building phase.

Historical novelist, Lucy Roeber, has written and excellent article on the grotto in her blog: “The Season of Grottos”. Well worth reading.

After a visit to the Grotto in August 2018, Frank Skinner talked at length about his visit and Pope on his Saturday morning radio show on Absolute Radio.  Listen to a clip here:


The London Topographical Society has published an article on the grotto in their Newsletter Number 88.