National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens

National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens

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In England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England provides a listing and classification system for historic parks and gardens similar to that used for listed buildings. The register is managed by English Heritage
English Heritage
English Heritage . is an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport...

 under the provisions of the National Heritage Act 1983. Over 1,600 sites are listed, ranging from the grounds large stately home
Stately home
A stately home is a "great country house". It is thus a palatial great house or in some cases an updated castle, located in the British Isles, mostly built between the mid-16th century and the early part of the 20th century, as well as converted abbeys and other church property...

s to small domestic gardens, as well other designed landscapes
Landscape architecture
Landscape architecture is the design of outdoor and public spaces to achieve environmental, socio-behavioral, or aesthetic outcomes. It involves the systematic investigation of existing social, ecological, and geological conditions and processes in the landscape, and the design of interventions...

 such as town squares, public parks and cemeteries.

Purpose


The register aims to 'celebrate designed landscapes of note, and encourage appropriate protection', so safeguarding the features and qualities of key landscapes for the future. It is hoped that listing sites of special interest will increase awareness of their value and encourage those who own them, or who have a part to play in their protection, to treat the sites with due care, whether this is a question of carrying out appropriate maintenance or making changes to the site.

If a park of garden has been registered using the desingation process under the 1983 National Heritage Act it has legal protection. Registration is a material consideration in the planning process so, following a planning application for development which would affect a registered park or garden, local planning authorities must take into account the historic interest of the site when deciding whether or not to grant permission for any changes. Although the inclusion brings no additional statutory controls in itself, English local authorities are required by government to take the protection of the historic environment into account in their policies and resource allocations. If material changes are made to a registered park or garden without having been granted planning permission first, local planning authorities may require that the changes are undone, and in extreme cases a prosecution may result.

The register is also used in influencing management decisions, to improve public awareness of important parks and elements within them and to encourage their owners to preserve and maintain them. Gardening and landscape design have long been important preoccupations to the British and although a wealth of historic parks and gardens exist, they are a fragile and finite resource: they can easily be damaged beyond repair or lost forever.

Since 1995, The Garden History Society has been a statutory consultee in relation to planning proposals which affect historic designed landscapes identified by English Heritage as being of national significance, and which are included on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England. This means that when a planning authority receives a planning application which affects a site on the Register, or the setting of such a site, the planning authority must consult The Garden History Society. This applies to registered sites of all grades. In addition, English Heritage
English Heritage
English Heritage . is an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport...

 must be consulted where a planning proposal affects a site which is included on the Register at Grade I or Grade II*.

Register


An online searchable register of all registered Parks and Gardens that are legally protected through the designation system, has been incorporated into the National Heritage List for England
National Heritage List for England
The National Heritage List for England was launched in 2011 as the statutory list of all designated historic places including listed buildings and scheduled monuments....

 currently available through the English Heritage website. This shows the relevant list entry which describes the park or garden, and shows where it is on a map. Not all designated parks and gardens are open to the public.
Information on historic parks and gardens can also be searched online via Parks & Gardens UK (a partnership between the Association of Gardens Trusts and the University of York
University of York
The University of York , is an academic institution located in the city of York, England. Established in 1963, the campus university has expanded to more than thirty departments and centres, covering a wide range of subjects...

). This site does not claim to have any statutory authority and includes a wider range of sites across the UK.

Eligibility


Eligibility for the register is based around documentary research and field survey which attempts to classify and date each park according to set criteria. These are:
  • Parks and gardens with a main phase of development prior to 1750 even when only a small part is still evident.
  • Sites with a main phase of development dating to between 1750 and 1820 where enough of the park or garden's landscape survives to reflect the original design.
  • Sites with a main phase of development between 1820 and 1880 which is deemed important and survives relatively intact.
  • Sites with a main phase of development between 1880 and 1939 where this is of high importance and survives intact.
  • Sites with a main phase of development laid out since the Second World War, but are more than 30 years old, where the park or garden is of exceptional importance.
  • Sites influential in the development of taste
    Taste
    Taste is one of the traditional five senses. It refers to the ability to detect the flavor of substances such as food, certain minerals, and poisons, etc....

     whether through repute or literary references.
  • Sites which are early or representative examples of a style of layout, or type, or the work of a landscape architect of national importance.
  • Sites with an association with significant people or historical events.
  • Sites with strong group value, as with some Listed Buildings.


As with Listed Buildings, parks and gardens are graded on a scale, Grade I being internationally significant sites are therefore the most important and constitute around 10% of the total number. Historically important gardens are Grade II* (about 30% of the total) and the remainder are of regional or national importance and are Grade II registered.

Other parts of the United Kingdom


Separate registers of parks, gardens and designed landscapes are maintained in the other countries of the United Kingdom
Countries of the United Kingdom
Countries of the United Kingdom is a term used to describe England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. These four countries together form the sovereign state of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which is also described as a country. The alternative terms, constituent...

:
  • The Cadw/ICOMOS Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Wales
    Cadw/ICOMOS Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Wales
    The Cadw/ICOMOS Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Wales is a heritage register of significant historic parks and gardens in Wales. It is maintained by Cadw, the historic environment service of the Welsh Government.-The Register:...

     is maintained by Cadw
    Cadw
    -Conservation and Protection:Many of Wales's great castles and other monuments, such as bishop's palaces, historic houses, and ruined abbeys, are now in Cadw's care. Cadw does not own them but is responsible for their upkeep and for making them accessible to the public...

  • The Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland
    Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland
    The Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland is a listing of gardens and designed landscapes of national artistic and/or historical significance, in Scotland. The Inventory was originally compiled in 1987, although it is a continually evolving list...

     is maintatined by Historic Scotland
    Historic Scotland
    Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government, responsible for historic monuments in Scotland.-Role:As its website states:...

  • The Register of Parks, Gardens and Demesnes of Special Historic Interest
    Register of Parks, Gardens and Demesnes of Special Historic Interest
    The Register of Parks, Gardens and Demesnes of Special Historic Interest is a listing of significant ornamental parks and gardens in Northern Ireland...

     is maintained by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency

See also


External links