Use Places & People to search over 6,600 parks and gardens in the UK and 2,100 biographies of people associated with them. Image location: Bedgebury National Pinetum

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Image location: Powis Castle

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An introduction to garden history

Design has been important in the British landscape for centuries. Many people are familiar with the gardens of large country houses, but in fact designed landscapes have a very complex history dating from Roman times and incorporating influences from across the world.

The articles in this section are intended to give newcomers to the subject of historic parks, gardens and designed landscapes a good foundation from which to start in terms of understanding the history of these important places, who was involved in creating them and how they are looked after and protected.

 

Influential designed landscapes in the UK

Designed landscapes have played a key role in the landscape for centuries. While many people associate them with country houses of the 18th and 19th centuries, they have in fact a much more complex history which links them with the visual arts such as painting and sculpture as well as literary traditions and authors, such as Jane Austen, with whom the 18th-century heyday of the country house and its parkland landscape has become synonymous.

Read more: Influential designed landscapes in the UK

The people who have shaped historic landscapes across the UK

Writers, poets, painters and philosophers as well as gardeners, designers, owners and horticulturalists have helped to shape the UK’s historic parks and gardens over the last 1000 years.

Many of the landscapes that they inspired or created can still be enjoyed today, and where they have disappeared their historic legacy lives on.

Read more: The people who have shaped historic landscapes across the UK

How are historic parks and gardens protected?

Protection of historic landscapes in the United Kingdom.

Read more: How are historic parks and gardens protected?