While now it's become quite fashionable for modern homes to harbor secret slides, it's still pretty rare for an old, storied manor, especially one as "elegantly decadent" as England's Cliveden House, to brag 4,850-pound slides. And yet, there it is, a 57-foot, stainless steel swipe across the estate's brick, porticoed façade. As a Grade I National Trust estate (indeed, in its heyday Cliveden House was visited by the likes of Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, and John Lennon), the manor is supposed to remain in tip-top shape, keeping the house's historical "architectural interest" intact. And so the question is: how can the estate's overseers possibly justify a giant steel slide, which, you know, probably wasn't attached to these types of buildings when the second Duke of Buckingham George Villiers acquired it in 1666?
Well, this summer, the National Trust is cleaning and repairing the main staircase, which, at nearly 350 years old, is the most decrepit bit of the entire estate. Because the gardens were "the playground for Cliveden's owners" and "designed purely for pleasure," or so the National Trust writes on its website, the trust "couldn't just close off the staircase and shield everything from view," so it turned the scaffolding into a platform for a slide. And if the people who use it feel inspired to donate some money to help the restoration project along, well isn't that just a swell side benefit? More photos, below.
· Slide to save the south terrace at Cliveden [National Trust official site via Design Boom]
· Here Now, Six Modern Residences Harboring Secret Slides [Curbed National]