Trust Publications

and publications associated with members of
Hertfordshire Gardens Trust's Research Group

HGT Library

A library service is now available through the web site. This service is available for HGT members only. The book list may be downloaded here HGT book list. Please select the book(s) you wish to borrow and email your request to:

The librarian will then contact you to arrange collection.


New Publication 2013

Hertfordshire garden history Hertfordshire: a landscape history
By Anne Rowe and Tom Williamson

More than three decades after the publication of Lionel Munby's seminal work, The Hertfordshire Landscape, Anne Rowe and Tom Williamson have produced an authoritative new study based on their own extensive fieldwork and documentary investigations, as well as on the wealth of new research carried out over recent decades by others - both into Hertfordshire specifically, and into landscape history and archaeology more generally.

The authors examine in detail the historical processes that created the county's modern physical environment, discussing such things as the form and location of settlements; the character of fields, woods and commons; and the distinctive local forms of churches, vernacular houses, and great mansions, along with their associated parks and gardens.

Both the rural landscape and that of Hertfordshire's towns and suburbs have their particular stories to tell and the authors track Hertfordshire's continuing evolution right through to the twenty-first century. Lavishly illustrated with maps and photographs, this authoritative work will be invaluable reading for all those with an interest in the history, archaeology, and natural history of this fascinating county.

A flyer giving further details about the book, together with information about ordering, can be seen and downloaded Here. To buy a copy online please go to this link Hertfordshire publications.


Recently published articles

“New Light on Gobions”. An article written by Anne Rowe and Tom Williamson following the discovery of a hitherto unknown map in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.  The article was published in Garden History, the Journal of the Garden History Society, Volume 40, No. 1, Summer 2012. The earthwork remains of the famous 18th-century gardens in Gobions Wood near Brookmans Park are being surveyed with the help of members of the Hertfordshire Gardens Trust.

“The earthworks at Benington Park, Hertfordshire: an exercise in dating an archaeological garden”. An article written by Anne Rowe, Christopher Taylor and Tom Williamson and published in the journal Landscape History Volume 32 Issue 2 in 2011. The garden was surveyed with the help of members of the Hertfordshire Gardens Trust.

“Hearts, minds and historic landscapes”. An article written by Kate Harwood and published in Context – the journal of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation – Volume 118, March 2011.


New Publication August 2012.

Hertfordshire garden history Hertfordshire Garden History, Volume 2: Gardens pleasant, groves delicious
Edited by Deborah Spring

Hertfordshire Publications - an imprint of University of Hertfordshire Press, August 2012. ISBN: 978-1-907396-81-6. 156mm x 234mm. 272pp. Paperback. RRP £16.99

This second volume of Hertfordshire garden history considers how Hertfordshire’s historic parks and gardens – some still existing, many others lost – have been influenced by, and reflect, the social and economic history of their time.

Hertfordshire’s proximity to London swiftly made the county into a place for both the display of success and respite from its demands.  Beginning with the hunting parks and Renaissance gardens of the Bacons, Cecils and Capels in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and their gradual replacement by designed landscapes, the book shows how in Hertfordshire individuals have long sought greater space and comfort within easy reach of the capital.  The theme continues through to successful Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian entrepreneurs and professionals seeking an idealised country existence while travelling daily to the City, culminating in the tree-lined legacy of the early garden cities.

Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown played a role in shaping the Hertfordshire landscape whilst in the nineteenth century industrial development made an impact.  The Arts and Crafts movement brought contributions from famous designers, Lutyens and Jekyll at Knebworth, and Mawson at Berkhamsted and Bushey.  In parallel, services developed to supply the demand for elaborate gardens and the book also examines the role of plant nurseries, estate gardeners and the Lea Valley glasshouses during the two world wars and beyond.  Throughout the book, examples are drawn from both well-known and less visible or vanished Hertfordshire gardens of the past 500 years.

This volume draws on new research by members of the Hertfordshire Gardens Trust, whose director of research is Tom Williamson, Professor of Landscape History at the University of East Anglia.

To buy a copy online please go to this link Hertfordshire publications.

Medieval Parks of Hertfordshire Medieval Parks of Hertfordshire
Anne Rowe

To date over sixty medieval parks have been identified in Hertfordshire – a large number for a relatively small county. In this ground-breaking study of parks created between the 11th and 15th Centuries Anne Rowe has adopted an holistic approach to landscape history. Geographical locations have been determined and mapped and a documentary history of each park complied to give an insight into park management in medieval times.

There is also a detailed analysis of the parks and their owners alongside how the parks related to the physical and social geography of the county at the time – there was a marked difference in the numbers of parks in different parts of the county and reasons for this are explored focusing on the unusual relationship between the distribution of the parks and the distribution of woodland at Domesday.

This book opens a window onto medieval Hertfordshire and shows a significant aspect of the county's landscape heritage. To buy a copy online please go to this link Hertfordshire publications.

Parks in Hertfordshire since 1500 Parks in Hertfordshire since 1500
Hugh Prince

An authoritative history of Hertfordshire's great parks, looking at the cultural, political and economic influences on their changing fortunes over the past 500 years.

Over the centuries, the county's proximity to the capital proved particularly attractive to ambitious and acquisitive newcomers, with great houses and their parks changing owners at a rapid rate. When it came to the design and development of their parkland, landowners followed the prevailing fashions from keeping in step with courtly enthusiasm for deer-hunting in the 16th Century to embracing the golden age of landscape gardening in the 18th Century. Against this backdrop, Hugh Prince examines the business of managing parks as crucial elements of landed estates and establishes the special role played by parks in the display of landowners' power.

To buy a copy online please go to this link Hertfordshire publications.

Hertfordshire Garden History:  a miscellanyHertfordshire Garden History: a miscellany (2007)
Edited by Anne Rowe

A book of essays written by Members of HGT's Research Group and Conservation Team with an introductory chapter by Professor Tom Williamson, Chair in Landscape History at the University of East Anglia

Essays include:

To buy a copy online please go to this link Hertfordshire publications.

A history of Knebworth's ParksA history of Knebworth's Parks (2005)
Anne Rowe, The Herfordshire Gardens Trust

Research by Anne Rowe into the landscape of the parish reveals the existence at different times of no fewer than three parks at Knebworth. This well illustrated narrative reveals the locations of the two medieval parks and then describes the development of the Knebworth Park which replaced them, from the l7th Century to the present day.

To buy a copy of this book send a cheque for £5.00 (£3.50 plus £1.50 p&p) made payable to Herfordshire Gardens Trust and send to Herfordshire Gardens Trust, c/o Gardens, Ashridge, Berkhamsted, HP4 1NS.

The Parks and Gardens of West HertfordshireThe Parks and Gardens of West Hertfordshire (2000)
Tom Williamson and the Hertfordshire Gardens Trust

This book represents the results of investigations of historic landscapes west of a line drawn along the old Watling Street (the A5) as far north as the M25, then along the M25 to the M1 and then as far north as the county boundary. This district has a certain topographical coherence. It represents in effect the towns of Berkhamsted, Hemel Hempsted, Watford and Rickmansworth and the parishes and their hinterlands. It embraces the valleys of the Gade and Bulbourne and that of the lower Colne.

Several country houses around which the most extensive designed grounds were laid out were demolished in the last century and where they do survive, they are now mostly used as schools, conference centres and hotels with golf courses, playing fields and farms. Neverthless we discovered examples of the work of some of the greatest English garden designers – Charles Bridgeman, Capability Brown, Humphry Repton, Edward Kemp and Thomas Mawson.

Some 42 gardens in all are featured taking the reader through from gardens before the 18th Century, early 18th Century landscapes, the age of the landscape park, picturesque and gardenesque, high Victorian landscapes and the late 19th Century and beyond. The book is 118 pages long and is filled with beautiful black and white and colour photographs.

To buy a copy of this book, send a cheque for £12.00 (£10 plus £2.00 p&p) made payable to HerTfordshire Gardens Trust to: Hertfordshire Gardens Trust, c/o Gardens, Ashridge, Berkhamsted, HP4 1NS

Hertfordshire Gardens on Ermine StreetHertfordshire Gardens on Ermine Street (1996)
Richard Bisgrove and The Hertfordshire Gardens Trust

The Trust's first publication and the story of some great gardens along Ermine Street (the A10) featuring designers such as Humphry Repton, Capability Brown and more recent designers such as Brenda Colvin. There is a gazetteer of over 100 gardens with descriptions and synopses of some of the more important gardens such as Haileybury – and the East India Company, Hertford Castle, Hamels, Julians Park – described in the l930s as one of the most beautiful in the country, Wormley Bury and Youngsbury.

To buy a copy of this book, send a cheque for £4.50 (£3.00 plus £1.50 p&p) made payable to Hertfordshire Gardens Trust to Hertfordshire Gardens Trust, c/o Gardens, Ashridge, Berkhamsted, HP4 1NS