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

Learn about the rich heritage of parks and gardens in Topics.
Image location: Powis Castle

Follow News & Events, updated regularly with the latest information affecting historic parks and gardens. Image location: Sheffield Botanical Gardens

Visit the Schools for ideas and activities to encourage the interest of children and young people in their local parks. Image location: Trentham

Join us as a volunteer and Research & Record historic parks and gardens in your area.
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View the Illustrated Glossary which provides definitions and accompanying images for terms and concepts associated with historic parks and gardens. Image location: Pannett Park

An Overview of Research and Recording Practice

Article Index

  1. An Overview of Research and Recording Practice
  2. Researching and sources of information
  3. Getting started
  4. Making a site survey
  5. Writing up your findings
  6. All Pages

research visitWhat does researching involve?

Researching and recording a garden includes:
  • Locating and analysing relevant background materials and sources of information.
  • Doing a site survey to establish what remains of a park or garden, and the historical evidence it contains.
  • Making a written and photographic record of the history and surviving features.
  • Presenting and circulating the results.

Who can help?

Before you begin, check whether any research already exists on the garden you are interested in.

  • A great deal of research into historic parks and gardens is done by County Gardens Trusts. There are 37 trusts across England and Wales, which can provide help and training in the research and recording of gardens, as well as access to a network of contacts. To find your local trust, see the Association of Gardens Trusts' web site.
  • Find out whether the garden is on a national register or inventory. If a garden is on these lists, it will already have been researched in some depth.

The main registers are:

  • English Heritage's Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest.
  • Cadw's Register of Landscapes, Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in Wales.
  • Historic Scotland's Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland.
  • The Northern Ireland Heritage Gardens Inventory and the Register of Parks, Gardens and Demesnes of Special Historic Interest in Northern Ireland, published by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

Other sources of information include:

  • Local authorities maintain Historic Environment Records (sometimes called Sites and Monuments Records), which include parks and gardens.
  • Local reference libraries, county records offices or museums may also know if a place is already recorded or is being researched.
  • Specialist publications such as Garden History and Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes carry articles on research which has been carried out into particular parks and gardens.