The Historic Gardens and Landscapes of England is a nationwide research project which aims to identify and record the most significant historic gardens and designed landscapes in the English counties. Based at the University of Bristol, the ultimate goal is to document all the historically significant gardens and designed landscapes in England. The Principal Investigator of the project is Professor Tim Mowl of the University’s Department of Archaeology & Anthropology, and his Research Fellow, who is co-ordinating the research, is Dr Clare Hickman.
Tim recognised the need for a country-wide analysis of England’s historic gardens and landscapes ten years ago while writing a course book for the University’s MA in Garden History. In that time he has visited more than 1,200 gardens in Gloucestershire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Cornwall, Worcestershire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Somerset, Warwickshire and Herefordshire. The first seven volumes of the series were published by Tempus Publishing of Stroud. These are: Historic Gardens of Gloucestershire (2002), Historic Gardens of Dorset (2003), Historic Gardens of Wiltshire (2004), Historic Gardens of Cornwall (2005), Historic Gardens of Worcestershire (2006), Historic Gardens of England: Oxfordshire (2007) and Historic Gardens of England: Northamptonshire (2008). Historic Gardens of England: Cheshire (2008) Historic Gardens of England: Staffordshire (2009) and Historic Gardens of Somerset (2010) have recently been produced by our new publisher Redcliffe Press. Tim is now working on Warwickshire with Diane James and Herefordshire with Dr Jane Bradney. The project is continuing to find the most unexpected buildings and undiscovered garden sites.
The Leverhulme Trust generously grant-aided the volumes on Cornwall, Worcestershire and Oxfordshire and, in January 2007, the Trust awarded the project additional funding to underwrite the research and travelling for another ten counties. This will enable Tim to produce 10 further books, bringing the total in the series up to 16. The project is giving young scholars in the field the opportunity to be appointed as consultants and to be joint authors, with Tim, of the county surveys. The project is conducted under the aegis of the University’s Institute for Garden and Landscape History.
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