The Japanese Garden at Cowden was commissioned by the explorer Ella Christie in 1908 after an inspiring visit to Kyoto. Created by Taki Handa, the only woman credited with designing such a garden, it has been described as “the most important Japanese Garden in the Western world”, has been visited by celebrities and dignitaries and is now a listed Inventory landscape. Destroyed by vandals in 1963, it was almost lost forever until a careful restoration project began in 2013.
Opened to visitors in 2018 as a restoration in progress, a funded project lasting three years includes the reinstatement of the original Tea House, as well as pathworks, lighting, craftsmanship training projects, staffing, interpretation and education, audience development and outreach events.
The Tea House will display an Ella Christie collection and explain her vision for the garden, its decline and restoration. Sensitive interpretation will guide visitors through the site explaining how Japanese gardens are a source of meditation and peace. There will be special events, walks, learning, training and employability opportunities and regular ‘protected’ opening hours that will offer therapeutic access for vulnerable groups.
Our engagement with individuals, groups and volunteers has far exceeded expectations and to meet ambitious plans for future engagement we require an Education and Outreach Officer that will have access to supporting budgets to engage volunteers, manage work experience placements, involve schools, students and community/special interest groups.
This project is vital to the ongoing restoration, visitor offer, viability and sustainability of a unique visitor attraction of international significance. Further information about the garden can be found online at:
A full Job Description is available for download below.