Lighting up the gardens

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John Hoyland, Glyndebourne’s Garden Consultant, introduces the recent improvements to lighting in the gardens, made possible through kind donations to our Annual Fund.


The Glyndebourne gardens are an enchanting place at any time of day, in any season and we have recently started a programme of making the gardens just as magical by night.

The terrace and urn gardens have been lit with low-level lights that create discrete pools of light along the path – just enough to invite visitors into the gardens and light their way. The rose garden has lights hidden in the tall posts that support the climbing roses which at night illuminates the twining stems of the roses.

Last year we renovated the garden next to the Henry Moore sculpture and the garden adjacent to the Mildmay restaurant. At night the reflecting pool is edged by a sparkling white light and both areas are lit with slender new lampposts. These are a similar lead-grey colour as the opera house’s fly tower and the circular shape of the light fitting echoes the building’s architecture.

Most importantly, these new fittings are low energy consumption LED lights that direct all of their light downwards. In keeping with Glyndebourne’s environmental policy we are keen to minimise light pollution and, where possible, to reduce light spillage. Over the next seasons these new lampposts will replace existing ones, starting in the coach park.

Glyndebourne sits within the South Downs National Park, which in 2016 was designated an International Dark Sky Reserve, one of a dozen worldwide. We are working with a lighting designer to advise us on how best to keep our gardens and carparks sufficiently lit to ensure the safety of visitors while at the same time enhancing the beauty of the gardens.

Although this new lighting will be discreet and low-key, we hope that visitors will notice over the coming seasons that the lighting will invite them to linger a little longer to appreciate the gardens at night and be able to gaze at the stars.


Thank you to those that helped us ‘Light up the Lawns’ by donating to Glyndebourne’s 2017 Annual Fund. Your support is greatly appreciated.

We’re excited to let you know that our 2018 Annual Fund will be raising funds for essential tools and equipment, including a sprung dance floor, to be housed inside Glyndebourne’s new state-of-the-art Production Hub, due to open in 2019.