CGT Research for Unforgettable Gardens

County Gardens Trusts around the country are working on projects to research and record important local gardens and landscapes as part of our Unforgettable Gardens campaign.

This is in addition to arranging events, lectures, visits and activity online or on social media to draw attention to these very special places.If you would like to volunteer to help with any of these projects, or just want to find out more about what’s happening in your area, do follow the links below or contact your local CGT.

Details of all our Unforgettable Gardens online lectures are on the Gardens Trust events page.

CGT Research and Recording

Research and recording work is a really important part of the work that CGT volunteers do. It involves documenting and officially recording what is significant about historic gardens and designed landscapes so that they can be protected for the future.

Current research and recording projects include:

Cambridgeshire GT are refreshing their Gazetteer of Gardens, and researching all the walled gardens in the county.

Essex GT are working on an inventory of historic parks and gardens for Thurrock District Council.

Kent GT are researching and recording designed landscapes in the Swale District Council area, the sixth out of the 12 council areas that Kent GT have researched.

Gloucestershire GT have a project on the Clothiers’ Gardens of Stroud.

Lincolnshire GT are working with Heritage Lincolnshire and the Lincolnshire HER (Historic Environment Record) to identify heritage designed landscapes which are not registered but have local significance.

London GT volunteers are researching parks and gardens in the borough of Lewisham. They will update those sites on the London GT inventory and then look at other landscapes which fit the criteria. The aim is to produce an online publication called A Compendium of Parks and Gardens in Lewisham.

Norfolk GT are digitising the Town Garden Surveys they produced between 1996 and 1998. Volunteers are updating entries, and will write statements of significance for top sites from each town, and then upload them to the HER (Historic Environment Record) and Norfolk GT website.

Oxford GT are undertaking archaeological work to uncover ‘Forgotten Gardens’, led by Stephen Wass and starting with the gardens at Hanwell Castle.

Suffolk GT are currently recruiting volunteers for a new research project, so do get in touch with them  if you are interested.

Focus on public parks

Both Berkshire and Buckinghamshire GTs are doing research into publicly accessible parks and gardens, which have been so much appreciated during the pandemic. Buckinghamshire GT are planning to produce a guidebook to local public parks.

Norfolk GT are filming drone videos of public parks to draw attention to them on social media.

Remembering lost gardens

Essex GT are writing short articles about lost gardens in Essex. You can read the fascinating, poignant stories of landscapes including Belhus Park, Stubbers, Warley Place and Wanstead Park on their website, with more articles to come. They are a timely reminder of why the work of the Gardens Trust is needed if historic gardens like these are to survive current pressures.

Image: Engraving of Stubbers from Peacock’s Polite Repository, 1804, The Nigel Temple Collection, GT

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Painswick Roccoco Gardens, the Red House, Photo © Joab Smith