You will have just received your newsletter so you are up to date with all that we had planned for the next few months. However, in response to current government policy announced on Monday March 16th advising against all social gatherings, we have made the decision to cancel all the Garden visits for this year. This includes the trip to Essex on 21st May, to Grimthorpe Castle on 3rd June and the second visit to Essex on 16thJune.
We are also cancelling all the summer guided walks, and the Gardeners’ Question Time on 11th June. We will let you know about the AGM which is due to be held on Thursday 9th July at Benington Lordship once we assess what the position is in mid-June. None of us know how things will go and these are uncharted and worrying times for everyone.
We will keep the situation under review and hope to reschedule what we can of our events and outings once the position is clearer. The website will keep you up to date.
If you have an email address which we may not be aware of, please send this to firstname.lastname@example.org as this is much the most efficient way to keep you informed.
We had some wonderful trips and walks planned and we are so sorry that we have had to cancel. We wish everyone a safe and healthy few months.
Here is the text of a letter The Gardens Trust and the Hertfordshire Gardens Trust have sent to East Herts Council Planners.
Recently HGT, following research by Anne Rowe and Tom Williamson were successful in having henry VIII’s great pond chain along the Hunsdon Brook recognised as a national Scheduled Monument. This should give it, and its setting, the greatest protection. We are therefor very concerned about the plans for this development which totally ignore the wealth of heritage assets in the area. Hunsdon Park, in particular merits much further detailed examination, lying as it does, between the Ponds and Hunsdon House (formerly the great Tudor Palace where Henry VII’s children were brought up in part)
We have grave concerns that the many key heritage assets in this area will be harmed by this development. The documents in this application do not give sufficient information on specific measures to address light, noise, and traffic pollution on the heritage assets and indicate that the key parkland setting rising eastwards from Lords Wood will be destroyed.
The parkland lying between Lords Wood and Hunsdon House was part of the great Tudor parkland, further details of which can be found in Rowe, A Tudor and Early Stuart Parks of Hertfordshire. The ponds in Lords Wood, now a Scheduled Monument, are closely stylistically related to European Renaissance water features of the time, such as at Pratolino, at a time when Henry VIII was introducing renaissance culture into England. The parkland, formerly Pond Park, provides the setting for Hunsdon church, visible from the ponds area and is depicted in an 1546/47 portrait of the future Edward VI by William Scots, and is also the setting for the ponds which are now the SM.
To the south of the site lies the important 18th century park and house of Briggens, and the park of Stanstead Bury, all nationally designated by Historic England. To the west of the site lies Olive’s Farm, purchased by Henry VIII as part of his Hunsdon estate, whose land overlooks the Pond Park. To the North of the site lies Hunsdon Park and House.
The setting of all these heritage assets will be affected by the layout of Village 7 on the rising ground north of the A414. The setting of heritage assets is a key part of their significance as detailed in both the NPPF and in the Historic England the Setting of Heritage Assets (GPA3.2). Heritage assets are an irreplaceable resource and should be conserved in a manner appropriate to their significance (para 184), and when considering the impact of a proposed development on the significance of a designated heritage asset, great weight should be given to that asset’s conservation (para 193).
HGT, on our behalf, commented on the heritage significance of the Gilston Area including Village 7, during the Local Plan process and we also commented (2nd July 2019 – see attached) on the wider Gilston application 3/19/1045/OUT.
We consider that further consideration must be given to ways of mitigating the detrimental effect of the proposed development upon the various heritage assets. We would like to see the development removed entirely from the Pond Park section.
William Wilkins and Humphry Repton at Haileybury 1806‐1810 edited by Toby Parker and Kate Harwood
The Study Day organised by HGT at Haileybury in 2015 presented new information about the construction of the East India College and its Landscape.
These Proceedings of that Study Day, with some additional papers, provide new insights to both the buildings and Repton’s landscape and his considerable involvement in the site as well as the importance of the College as innovative in concept, design and execution.
To order a copy of this book please send your name, address and a cheque for £14.00 (to include p&p) made payable to
Hertfordshire Gardens Trust to:
The Research Group has undertaken surveys of Gobions Wood at Brookmans Park. Within this lovely wood lie the earthwork remains of a famous eighteenth-century garden designed by Charles Bridgeman for Jeremy Sambrooke and laid out in the 1720s. Visited by many notable people, including Queen Caroline, the garden was one of Bridgeman’s most significant designs, and was considered by Horace Walpole to represent an important stage in the development of the ‘landscape’ style.
Exciting new evidence about the layout of the garden came to light with the discovery of a plan in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. An article assessing the significance of the plan, written by Tom Williamson and Anne Rowe, was published in the journal Garden History in 2012. Here are some photographs of the Research Group hard at work in Gobions Wood on two gloriously sunny spring days in March 2012.
On 9 April 2014 the research team and guests enjoyed a great afternoon at Tring Park at the invitation of the Woodland Trust to celebrate the restoration of the Charles Bridgeman rond-point – ceremonially completed by the planting of the final tree by Lady Verulam. A lovely pair of spotted ponies pulling a small carriage was laid on for the VIPs: the HGT President, the HGT Chairman and the Mayor of Tring.
HGT President, Lady Verulam, plants a tree at the centre of the rond-point, ably assisted by Louise and Karen from the Woodland Trust. [photographs by Jenny Milledge]
Clearance of trees and scrub from the rond-point and from the slopes below it has restored the magnificent view.