Agenda

News articles from the GHS membership: what’s going on in garden history, parks and gardens. They do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of the Society.

March 18th, 2013

Brenda Colvin at Stowe

A garden at Stowe by the famous landscape architect Brenda Colvin, CBE (1897–1981), has been identified. According to Trish Gibson’s recent book, one of her first commissions was ‘Mr Roxburgh’s garden’. Stowe School opened on 11 May 1923 with J.F. Roxburgh as Headmaster. His living quarters adjoined the Gothic Library, so his garden would have been outside, on the east parterre behind the balustrade.
No Comments »

March 18th, 2013

The Tudor garden at Cressing Temple, Essex

The garden was a considerable achievement, unique in the county and probably East Anglia, and has been popular with the public. However, in the straitened economic circumstances of the last few years, maintenance has become an issue, prompting an initiative, sponsored by the Essex Gardens Trust, to set up a Friends Group. The County Council has welcomed this development and approved a constitution, which envisages the group working to promote the gardens, to generate funds, and provide practical help through volunteering. The initial response from local people has been encouraging, and the inaugural meeting will be held at Cressing Temple at 7pm on Wednesday 27 March, 2013.
1 Comment »

March 18th, 2013

Arthur Markham Nesfield Remembered

In my previous article I discussed the Nesfields’ involvement at Regent’s Park, London and drew attention to the work of Arthur Markham Nesfield (1841–74). Little has been written about this landscape designer’s contribution to the genre but from the 1860s, when he virtually took over the family landscape design business from his father, until his early untimely death his reputation steadily increased. It being said of him that, ‘he briefly enjoyed the largest reputation of any designer of his generation’, (Brent Elliott, Victorian Gardens: Batsford Limited, 1986, p144). Markham was the second son of William Andrews Nesfield (1794–1881), who had been an officer in the military, a professional watercolour painter of rural, picturesque scenery and finally, for almost forty years in the middle of Queen Victoria’s reign, a landscape designer to some of the most influential and wealthy landowners in the British Isles.
No Comments »

March 18th, 2013

Linden Groves at the Landscape Institute Awards in November, to publicise the Society’s CMP project

Linden Groves is busy carrying out an English Heritage funded project for Society to produce a readily available reference list of Conservation Management Plans (CMPs) relating to historic landscapes in the UK, and where to access them. Good news, we now have well over 400 entries, with contributors ranging from ‘big name’ landscape practices, to small one-man bands, as well as County Gardens Trusts and national heritage organisations. The landscapes themselves are a fabulous mix of 18th-century park, municipal urban recreation space, private garden, interesting cemeteries and much more.
No Comments »

March 15th, 2013

Out of the rough revisited… A tale of two golf courses (at Stowe)

This is a tale of two golf courses and what exemplary restoration can be achieved in a great landscape garden with the generosity of an anonymous benefactor. It is a good news story, one which was unimaginable some twenty years ago when as an aspiring conservation professional I sent for a copy of In the Rough. Longstanding members will recall that this was not some investigation into the seamier side of urban life by Ian Sinclair, but a hard-hitting report commissioned by The GHS, The Georgian Group, and then newly-formed Association of Gardens Trusts to examine the effect of golf courses in landscape parks.
No Comments »

March 15th, 2013

A Family Affair: The Avenue Gardens and Picturesque Shrubbery, Regent’s Park, London

In 1861 the landscape designer William Andrews Nesfield, 1794–1881, received one of his most important public commissions; not only because the scheme is still in situ, impressively restored in 1996, but also because it is one in which all three Nesfields were involved and it was adjacent to the family home at 3 York Terrace. Apart from Nesfield Snr’s contribution, his eldest son the architect William Eden Nesfield (1835–88), designed a Lodge House to accompany the gardens and his second son Arthur Markham Nesfield (1842–74) was, after the first year, to provide the planting plans for the Avenue Gardens and also design an adjacent Picturesque Shrubbery.
2 Comments »

March 15th, 2013

Fragments of History: Study Day looking at the Caldwell Estate, 9 June 2012

On Saturday 9 June the GHSS East Renfrewshire Group organized a Study Day in the Mure Hall in Uplawmoor. This was the first of three such events this year, which build upon the survey and research carried out by local groups, and on this occasion looked at the history and development of the nearby Caldwell Estate. The choice of venue was appropriate as the hall was originally provided as a memorial to the last member of the Mure family to reside at Caldwell and the day set out to look at the relationship between this prominent local family and the designed landscapes of their estate.
No Comments »

March 15th, 2013

Wentworth Castle: the Conservatory, another Conference and a Book

The extraordinary Georgian palace of Wentworth Castle, Barnsley, is home to the Northern College for Residential Adult Education, while the gardens and park are owned and managed by the Wentworth Castle Heritage Trust, which over the past decade has implemented the rolling programme of restoration.
No Comments »

March 15th, 2013

Valley of the Water of Leith between Stockbridge and Dean Village

Public Meeting at Main Assembly Hall, Edinburgh Academy, 42 Henderson Row, Edinburgh EH3 5BL
2 Comments »

March 15th, 2013

Studley Royal Study Day, 3 May 2012

After an introduction by Val Hepworth, the Study Day got underway in the Visitor Centre auditorium with a rapid recital of the history of the estate by Mark Newman, Archaeological Consultant for Yorkshire & North East Region of the National Trust.
No Comments »

March 15th, 2013

Rediscovering Elysium: John Evelyn’s Garden at Sayes Court, 25 April 2012

The crowded lecture room at the Linnean Society on a gloomy Wednesday morning was ample proof of the lasting legacy of John Evelyn’s life and work. The joint day arranged by the GHS and London Parks and Gardens Trust brought together leading authorities on the many and varied aspects of Evelyn’s work and times, at a time when the site of his former home and garden as well as the adjacent Royal Naval Dockyard at Deptford, are threatened by a massive new development.
1 Comment »

March 15th, 2013

Combe Royal uncovered

Combe Royal is a Victorian house, listed Grade II, with a notable garden in a deep Devon combe, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, near Kingsbridge in the South Hams. The lower garden, which was largely planted with giant rhododendrons, still exists, but little remains of the elaborate Victorian layout around the house. The garden was renowned for the early study of citrus fruit. Combe Royal oranges were sent to Queen Victoria in the 1860s ‘who afterwards sent her head gardener from Osborne for the purpose of enquiring on the spot as to the mode of culture.’ (Fox, 1864).
4 Comments »

March 15th, 2013

The Kymin, a remarkable cultural landscape.

Seven hundred feet above Monmouth are the Kymin Rocks. From here there are views over ten counties and once one could see far down the Wye Valley to the Wyndcliffe and Piercefield. In the eighteenth-century there were those, encouraged by Gilpin’s Observations, who searched for stations from which picturesque views of the landscape could be seen or composed. For local landowners and the people of Monmouth there was no need to search, and their excursions into the countryside were not to satisfy the tyranny of the eye, they were just for fun.
No Comments »

March 15th, 2013

Capability Brown Tercentenary, 1716 to 2016

Exciting momentum is building towards planning national events, portable travelling exhibitions and sharing more landscapes with a wider public and the younger generations. About 150 delegates attended from all the key organisations involved in the garden world, and also including Visit Britain and Visit England, and many owners and managers of Brown sites, and representatives of many county gardens trusts from around the country.
No Comments »

March 15th, 2013

‘The true taste of beauty’: Gardens in the Letters of Samuel Molyneux

In October 1712 Samuel Molyneux (1689–1728) travelled to London from his home in Dublin to be enrolled as a Fellow of the Royal Society. Being the only child of the celebrated astronomer, philosopher and constitutional writer William Molyneux, (1656–98) and in his capacity as secretary to the Dublin Philosophical Society, the young Samuel had long nurtured good relations with the intellectual elite. Once in the capital he exploited these connections to seek audiences with the foremost collectors and connoisseurs of the day and to view their prized collections housed in ecclesiastical and secular buildings, historic royal palaces, parks and gardens.
No Comments »