The stories of some of the hundreds of historic parks & gardens in Hampshire have already been researched – others are still waiting.
RESEARCHING THE PAST
Concern over the loss of historic parks and gardens in Hampshire was one of the driving forces which led to the establishment of the Hampshire Gardens Trust in 1984.
In 2000, the Hampshire Register of Historic Parks and Garden was created by Hampshire County Council in conjunction with the Trust. This is a database of over 800 parks, gardens and designed landscapes of historic interest in Hampshire and includes sites recognised by English Heritage and on the National Register but also many more diverse sites. Some sites are grand, others are modest and some even lie deep under concrete suburbia. It is surprising and interesting to note how many fine trees, gates or fences remain even in such built-over environments.
WHY RESEARCH AND RECORD?
‘Research and recording’ is carried out first and foremost to identify what was there and what remains; to indicate parks and gardens endangered by neglect or inappropriate development and to inform proposals for change, providing opportunities for restoration, conservation or appropriate development. Much of the research comes from public sources, in particular the Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton Record Offices and local studies libraries but increasingly information is available on the web.
The aim is to ensure that any future development is sympathetic to the park or garden’s historic roots while at the same time the knowledge gained should assist owners, inform and promote public interest and create appreciation and enjoyment of the site. There is also a wider remit to help inform national, regional and local government bodies involved in planning policies for sustainable development.
Completed research reports are provided to Hampshire County Council. Hard copies are held at the Trust’s offices and some are deposited at the Hampshire Record Office. Access is at our discretion. If you wish to enquire about access to a full report please contact
COULD YOU BE A GARDEN DETECTIVE?
We welcome new researchers to our small but active group. You don’t need expertise or knowledge but you do need enthusiasm. Training and help will be given to get you started.