The programme for the 23/24 winter season has been organised by the HGT events team. This year the talks will be a combination of zoom and live talks at Woolmer Green Village Hall. Tickets must be purchased through Eventbrite, the links are alongside each event. Please see the full listing here.
This is the 25th Anniversary Year of the Buckinghamshire Gardens Trust. They have an extensive programme of events throughout the year at venues across Buckinghamshire which are open to all. Please go to: https://bucksgardenstrust.org.uk/events/
The Links to the news and events of our other adjacent Gardens Trusts (Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, London and Surrey) may be found under “Useful Links” via the “Parks and Gardens” page of the website.
To celebrate our 30th anniversary, HGT have put together two new walks in Hertfordshire. The first tracks the path of the Gadebridge river in Hemel Hempstead, passing through the newly renovated Jellicoe Water Gardens. The second takes in the landmarks of Letchworth Garden City. View them both here.
The Norfolk Gardens Trust is delighted to announce the launch of their latest publication. Enticing Paths, edited by Roger Last, looks at aspects of gardens and gardening in Norfolk over five centuries. It ranges across the whole spectrum of gardens and garden design and history, including the Bishop’s Garden and Carrow Abbey in Norwich, the work of Thomas Jeckyll and George Skipper, lost gardens such as Brundall Gardens and Didlington Hall, aspects of Sandringham and Blickling, the plant collections of Maurice Mason, the Snowdrop breeding of Heyrick Greatorex, Lakes in Norfolk Landscape Parks, Norfolk Gardens as seen in Art, and much more. It is lavishly illustrated with 480 pages and over 500 pictures. Anyone with an interest in Norfolk will enjoy this book, which will also make the perfect Christmas present. Price £30, including free delivery by post. To obtain a copy: please either send a cheque for £30, payable to Norfolk Gardens Trust, along with your address, to R Lloyd, 57 St Leonards Road Norwich NR1 4JW. or email Roger Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org giving him your address and confirming that you have paid £30 by BACS NGT bank details: sort code:206253 account number:70659096 reference: EP Your book will be posted to you immediately or, if you are buying it as a gift, we can post it to another address. Please note that there is a special price for NGT members.
It was a chilly and drizzly evening when we met at Benington Lordship for our AGM in early September. Thank you to all who attended. It was an honour and a real pleasure to be elected as your next chairman. There have been two lovely people previously in this role, Bella Stuart-Smith and Roger Gedye, who will be very hard acts to follow. Sadly, I knew Roger for so short a time, but I sincerely hope that together we can build on his legacy. I have a lot to learn and I am looking forward to increasing my knowledge of the Trust and its work and meeting many more members in the future. This year has been very strange for all of us – who knew what holding a meeting via Zoom meant before the summer? For me, and I suspect for you too, our gardens have been our life-line over these past months. As a committee, if circumstances allow, we hope to plan a complete programme of talks, visits and walks for us all to enjoy next year.
We do hope you have stayed well, enjoyed the weather and your gardens and managed to remain positive in these strange times.
HGT would by now have visited our first garden in Essex and been on the first walk to Forty Hall. If you are missing these and a fix of other gardens, we have organised something slightly different and new for our members.
We now have some pages here on the website for photographs of members’ gardens or a favourite Hertfordshire view that you have encountered on a walk. To view our gardens, click on the Parks and Gardens link above. You will then see in the drop-down menu, a link to Members’ Gardens.
If you would like to offer photographs of your garden which you would be happy to share with other members, please send digital images to email@example.com. Please send a maximum of six in the first instance.
Here is a link to the National Gardens Scheme website www.ngs.org.uk where some members have done a virtual tour of their garden in place of opening to the public.
With best wishes,
The Executive Committee
Roger Gedye, who died on 26 November 2019, will be much missed, not least by Hertfordshire Gardens Trust for whom he was an energetic and engaged chairman. Many HGT members attended the funeral in the Harwood Crematorium, the service at St Helen’s church and the reception later and were just a few of the many who came, from all walks of life.
HGT was one of many interests in Roger’s life. He and his wife Mo moved to a cottage in Hertfordshire on retirement and created a wonderful garden kept up to exemplary standards, which he loved: although he did comment on ‘a rod for my own back’ at one point. He was also joint Ringing Master at the church of St Helens in Wheathampstead, enjoyed walking and organising walks for various groups, as well as having his family of much-loved children and grandchildren.
Born on 10 January 1940, he later graduated from Liverpool University before joining Wellington College where he taught Chemistry at for 37 years, as well as being a housemaster. He played rugby for Brackwell Rugby Club and enjoyed karate, rock-climbing (including a trip to the Himalayas when he was 60), and walking in the Derbyshire peaks and dales. Whilst at Wellington he started karate, swimming and lifesaving clubs at the school. Roger was very well informed and could talk knowledgeably on a wide range of subjects.
He never stopped learning; taking an Open University degree in Philosophy, and attending as many courses and talks as he could to learn more about garden history once he had joined HGT. He had just completed a talk he was due to give on the HGT course this spring. He was also the newsletter editor, a role he had first taken on in 2012, redesigning the layout and encouraging a wider range of contributors. He carried on with this role after he became Vice-Chairman in 2014 and then Chairman in 2017.
HGT will be setting up The Gedye Fund in Roger’s name as a lasting memorial to a much-appreciated member who did so much to support and progress the trust.
There have been several requests from members and others who wish to contribute to a fund in Roger’s memory. If you would like to contribute, pleased send these to our bank:
Account Name: Hertfordshire Gardens Trust
Sort Code: 30-99-21
Account Number: 00650914
or a cheque, payable to Hertfordshire Gardens Trust and with ‘Gedye Fund’ written on the back, to HGT Treasurer, The White House, Dane End, Ware SG12 0LP.
The HGT committee will be deciding on the best memorial but it will be to support research and understanding of our historic parks and gardens. The Committee has pledged to match fund donations, up to a reasonable amount.
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)
Plan Details: 3/19/2124/OUT on https://publicaccess.eastherts.gov.uk/online-applications/
Text of Letter:
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.
Stop Harlow North: https://www.facebook.com/STOP-Harlow-North-Campaign-151589618240500/
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:
HGT, 78 Broadstone Road, Harpenden, Herts AL5 1RE
Please send queries to : firstname.lastname@example.org
A report commissioned by The Gardens Trust written by Katy Layton-Jones with the assistance of others including Kate Harwood of HGT. Please download a copy: Uncertain Prospects: Public parks in the new age of austerity