Replica tower taking shape at new playground on Queen's estate

Sandringham play area

The replica of Appleton Water Tower which is taking shape in the new adventure playground at Sandringham - Credit: Chris Bishop

A playground fit for princes and princesses is taking shape during lockdown.

The new attraction at Sandringham includes replicas of historic buildings which stand on the Royal Estate.

Its centrepiece is a replica of the water tower which dominates the skyline at Appleton, around a mile from the Queen's Norfolk residence.

Appleton Water Tower

Appleton Water Tower, which has supplied water to the Royal Estate at Sandringham for almost 150 years - Credit: Chris Bishop

The 25ft wooden building now rises into the pinewoods, while other structures are taking shape around it. It will house a water play feature and feature a slide.

When complete the playground, near the Visitor Centre, will also include replicas of Sandringham church, where the Queen and members of her family traditionally attend Christmas Day service, Queen Alexandra’s Nest - a secluded summer house built in the grounds at Sandringham in 1912 - and the ruined Church of St Mary near West Newton.


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The playground, designed by the Barton Turf-based Creating Adventurous Places Company, is said to have been inspired by the Back to Nature garden designed by the Duchess of Cambridge which was exhibited at last year’s Chelsea Flower Show.

The replica of Appleton Water Tower which will be included in the extended playground Picture: CAP.

The replica of Appleton Water Tower which will be included in the extended playground Picture: CAP.co - Credit: CAP.co

The first phase of construction is expected to be completed later this year. It is not yet clear when the playground will be open for young visitors to enjoy. 

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A Sandringham Estate spokesman said: "The ongoing development of a new children’s play area at Sandringham forms part of improvement works across the estate, with a view to offering better facilities for visitors, whilst maintaining the landscape and environment for all to enjoy.

"Any opening of the playground in the future would be when the Estate is confident it is safe to do so in line with the government guidelines in place at the time."

An artist's impression of the proposed extensions to the outdoor play area at Sandringham Picture:

An artist's impression of the proposed extensions to the outdoor play area at Sandringham Picture: CAP.co - Credit: Archant

The attraction, which was given planning permission last year, had enthusiastic support from Sandringham Parish Council, which said: “The parish council supports the application because it is the latest in a number of investments by the Sandringham Estate to upgrade and broaden the visitor experience at this busy venue."

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