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Mrs Mavis Lilian Batey - Summary

Gender: female

Nationality: English

Occupation: Garden and literary historian


Mavis Batey is a historian of gardens and literature, and the author of many books and articles.  She was Honorary Secretary of the Garden History Society from 1971 to 1985, and President from 1985 to 2000.

Mrs. Batey was born Mavis Lever in Norbury, south London.  She married Keith Batey in 1942. From 1940 to 1945, Mrs. Batey served as a code-breaker for British Intelligence at Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire .

In the 1960s Mrs. Batey was active in the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England. From 1970 to 1992, she was a tutor in the history of landscape at the Oxford Department of External Studies.

As Honorary Secretary of the Garden History Society, Mavis Batey played a leading role in the campaign to protect and conserve historic parks and gardens in the 1970s and 1980s. 

She helped to gain legal and official recognition for historic gardens, and, working with the Historic Buildings Council, instigated the formal recording of historic gardens which led to the publication of English Heritage's Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England in 1984. She was a member of the English Heritage Historic Parks and Gardens Panel from 1984 to 1994.

Mrs. Batey was awarded the Veitch Memorial Medal of the Royal Horticultural Society in 1985, and received the MBE in 1987 for services to the preservation and conservation of historic gardens.

To learn more about her, please click here to go to the Contemporary Profile article: