The Hurley Tunnel & Ponds Project (2021-2035)


The Hurley Tunnel and Ponds represent the 2nd Baronet, Sir John Clerk’s, most remarkable undertaking, enhancing an already unusual topographical formation occurring naturally within the landscape with the spirit and philosophy of the Enlightenment.

Our Aim: To return to visitors a unique Enlightenment experience

Restoring the Hurley Tunnel and Ponds will enable visitors to walk in the footsteps of Sir John Clerk and his contemporaries, ascending through the darkness of the Hurley Tunnel into the harmony and light of the delightful Hurley Ponds.

In 1741, Sir John, employing his own coal miners, dug a vast 40m long tunnel through an embankment between the River Esk and a U shaped valley in which he created a series of artificial ponds – a feature he had visualised in The Country Seat (1720s) as “Lakes from afar will charm the eye and seem huge silver mirrors set in verdant frames”.

Restoration cost

Building works & fees / £2,044,500
VAT (20%) / £408,900
Total to be raised / £2,453,400

Download the Donation Form to support the Designed Landscape Project.