Great Pagoda

Enjoy spectacular views across London from the heights of the Great Pagoda.

Great Pagoda at Kew

Following a major restoration project, you can now reach the heights of the Great Pagoda and marvel at spectacular views across London. 

Kew’s Pagoda was completed in 1762 as a gift for Princess Augusta, the founder of the Gardens. It was one of several Chinese buildings designed for Kew by Sir William Chambers, who had spent time travelling and studying the architecture of East Asia. A popular ‘folly’ of the age, it offered one of the earliest and finest bird’s eye views of London – which you can enjoy today.  

Visiting the Great Pagoda  

Please note that children aged 5-16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Opening times from March 29 2024

Daily from 11am (Last entry 4pm)

Book tickets when you book your visit to Kew

Nearest entrance 

Lion Gate. The Great Pagoda is located near the Temperate House and Pavilion Bar and Grill.

A little bit of history  

The Great Pagoda was restored in 2018 to its original 18th century splendour. This includes the 80 dragons which originally adorned the roofs, each carved from gilded wood.  

The dragons were removed in 1784 and were rumoured to have been sold to settle George IV’s gambling debts. However, experts believe that since they were made of wood, they had simply rotted over time. 

Still, the pagoda itself has stood the test of time and borne witness to key moments in British history. During the Second World War, British bombers tested their latest inventions in flight by making holes in each floor of the pagoda and dropping bombs down in secret - the repairs to the holes are still visible today. 

The exhibition reveals more about the history of the pagoda and how the Royal Family used this unique building. 

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