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Herstmonceaux Castle Build a-maze-ing new attraction with local ropemaker Marlow Ropes
Herstmonceux Castle’s Estates Team have built an a-maze-ing new attraction and called upon local ropemaker Marlow Ropes to help with the task. The result is a new wild flower and rope maze named the Marlow Maze which will puzzle and delight visitors of all ages this summer.
The innovative approach to maze building was developed by Herstmonceaux Castle’s Estates and Grounds Team keen to preserve its unique wildflower meadow location as a key feature, resulting in a living maze.
Marlow Ropes, based in Hailsham’s historical rope-making ‘String Town’ supplied 880 metres of hardy hemp rope which has the look and feel of natural hemp, yet with added durability for outdoor use. The maze measures 80 metres long and 50 metres across with one entrance, one exit, several wrong turns and dead ends along the way.
Guy Lucas, Gardens and Grounds Manager at Herstmonceux Castle commented:
" The location for the maze is a wildflower meadow, so we thought we would incorporate the native wild flowers to form the paths and encourage rare flowers whilst creating a habitat for bees and pollinators. It took us approximately two days of planning, drawing and mapping it out into the half acre field. then it took us a week to build.
We worked with Marlow Ropes, a traditional local company with a long-standing history in rope-manufacturing. Rope making is a very skilled craft which was important to us. We have used rope and sweet chestnut posts in order to utilise two local materials which have historically come from the area.”
Emma Donovan, Marketing Manager at Marlow Ropes commented:
“Our ropes are used around the world in a huge variety of applications and industries from Sailing to Safety at Height, film & television, offshore and defence; but we are especially pleased that we have been able to collaborate with a local heritage site such as Herstmonceux Castle in order to add enjoyment to families visiting this summer. Rope-making in Hailsham goes back to 1807 and we are proud to still be producing rope on the same site over 200 years on and that people still recognise this timeless, artisan skill.”