Avon Gardens Trust Directory/Register
This Register provides information on the 317 known Parks and Gardens in the former County of Avon, now four Unitary authorities, Bristol, Bath and North-East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.
It is intended to be a research tool for those interested in the history of parks and gardens, but It is also designed to be helpful to planners, developers, statutory bodies and indeed, to all those concerned to protect the heritage.View the Avon Gardens Trust Directory/Register
Work on recording historic parks and gardens in the former county of Avon began in 1984 as a local response to the decision by English Heritage to compile a national Register of parks and gardens of special historic interest in England.
The Avon Historic Garden Survey was part of a national inventory that was compiled by the Centre for the Conservation of Historic Parks and Gardens at the Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies at the University of York. A combination of information was recorded from site visits, maps and research into primary and secondary sources.
The first edition of a Register, formerly known as the Gazetteer, was published by Avon County Community Environment Scheme (ACCES) in 1988, and identified and described 111 garden sites of historic importance in the County.
The work of the Community Programme teams, and subsequently of the Avon Gardens Trust, provided the Avon area with a comprehensive survey of garden heritage. This online register continues that legacy.
The Register exists to “draw attention to important historic gardens and parks as an essential part of the nation’s heritage. If their existence is not widely enough known, they could all too easily be overlooked, for example in plans for new development”.
Several criteria are used to evaluate gardens which include consideration of historic, horticultural, arboricultural, ecological, architectural and archaeological values, as well as issues of design, landscape and amenity interest.
Historic England (formerly English Heritage) maintains a "Register of Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England" that includes private grounds, public parks, cemeteries, town squares, gardens and educational or institutional grounds. Within Avon there are 41 Parks and Gardens on Historic England's Heritage List. Where relevant a link is made to the HE data
In September 2016 Parks & Gardens UK (P&GUK) with Hestercombe Gardens Trust received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to secure the future of the P&GUK database and website of historic designed landscapes. Where relevant a link is made to the P&GUK database.
Other Sources of Information:
Conservation Management Plans (CMP’s) are an excellent source, where they exist, of historical research material. Many will have been commissioned from private consultants and permission to use them may be necessary.
The Gardens Trust maintains a reference list of Conservation Management Plans relating to historic designed landscapes. Sites with a CMP listed are noted in the Register.
We hope that the Avon Register will inform and kindle your interest and get you started in any research you may wish to undertake. Many more online research sources can be found via the Gardens Trust Hub, in particular the GT Training Handout, accessible through http://thegardenstrust.org/conservation/historic-landscapes-project/.