Project Profile

Location: Wiltshire

Frame: Viewing tower

Timber: Douglas fir

Architect: Bruce Yoell

Longleat Safari Park maze tower

The maze at Longleat Safari Park attracts thousands of families every year and the viewing tower provides a central vantage point over the 1.69 miles of pathway.

Project profile

The maze at Longleat is part of the 8,000 acre estate owned by the Marques of Bath, which also includes the renowned safari park, historic house and gardens by the famous Capability Brown.  The maze at Longleat was planted in 1975 with more than 16,000 English yew trees and is the largest maze in Britain. So, what is more fitting for a maze of yew trees than a viewing tower made out of timber?

In 2004 Carpenter Oak & Woodland were contracted to build and install a new viewing tower at the maze at Longleat. The viewing tower is surrounded by six raised bridges and is the pivotal attraction of the maze. The maze at Longleat, made from Douglas fir (with the exception of the beautiful hand riven oak shakes on the roof) the tower is constructed rather like a spiral staircase with the majority of its weight being taken on a central pillar that is located onto a steel pin in foundations at its base. A scaffold was constructed over the maze from an area beyond its perimeter that was used for setting out the pre-fabricated section. A crane was then used to facilitate the final assembly within the maze.

Projects like this aren’t out of the ordinary for us. We have created a number of towers, staircases, bridges and even a working Ballista (a roman catapult) and a trebuchet.