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Historical Profiles


This section contains articles about people who were involved with the creation, maintenance, conservation and recording of the historic parks, gardens and designed landscapes in the United Kingdom.

The Backhouse Nursery of York 1815 - 1955

The history of this once-famous Yorkshire nursery and its owners encapsulates many aspects of British culture and economics over a period of 200 years.

The founders were born in the 18th century and came from a widely connected Northern English Quaker family amongst whom were many keen botanists. In the 19th century the nursery was famous in Britain and abroad as suppliers of trees, garden plants and seeds.

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Eleanor Coade - artist in artificial stone

Eleanor Coade was a remarkable woman who rose to the top of the male-dominated trade of artificial stone-making in the 18th century. Her own brand of stone was widely used in some of the best gardens of the day. Timur Tatlioglu looks at her contribution to the art of garden ornamentation.

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Edward Leeds and his daffodils

Edward Leeds, plantsman and daffodil hybridist, was born at Buile Hill, Pendleton on 9 September, 1802. He was the eldest of four children born to Thomas and Ann, daughter of Joseph Rigby of Swinton Park, Manchester.

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Ralph Hancock F.R.H.S. Landscape Artist

Ralph Hancock F.R.H.S. – Landscape Artist

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The Daffodil Growers

The Backhouse family - famous in the 19th and early 20th century for banking, botany and horticulture - included several pioneers in daffodil breeding. Volunteer Jenny Asquith focuses on the work of Robert Ormston Backhouse (born 1854, died 1940) and his wife Sarah.

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