Cheshire has a rich heritage of parks, gardens and designed landscapes. Under Historic England Registered Parks & Gardens, you can search a list of 35 sites within Cheshire which are designated by Historic England as being of national importance. In addition there is a list of Non Designated Sites which may be of local significance. Research into many of these sites has been compiled by the Trust and where reports have been completed these sites are in bold.
Norton Priory Estate Map 1757(courtesy of Cheshire Archives & Local Studies)
One of the Trust's major aims continues to be the research and recording of local sites which are important heritage assets. The Research and Recording Group investigates and records these places to understand their history, current condition and significance, and the Landscape Designers who contributed to their importance. Completed research reports are available in local libraries, from the Cheshire Historic Environment Record or can be obtained by request from the Trust.
Members of the Research and Recording Group meet regularly to share their research and discuss any planning consultations which potentially impact upon Cheshire's important sites. This activity is explained more fully under Conservation. Research has resulted in two books and articles in CGT Newsletters, which can be viewed under Publications.
Interested members of the Trust, with no previous knowledge of garden history or research, are most welcome to join the group. A curiosity about local history can be developed and the delights of documentary research and site exploration revealed. Please do Contact Us to find out more.
Below are some of the research projects undertaken by the Research and Recording Group
This project was undertaken to share the horticultural heritage of Caldwell's Nurseries of Knutford through nursery records and the memories of family, staff and customers. The nurseries operated for more than 200 years - from the heyday of the English landscape garden up until the late 20th Century. The Caldwell website http://www.caldwellarchives.org.uk/ is an amazing resource where the transcribed business ledgers can be searched to see who bought what, and where the memories recall the operation of a traditional, family nursery.
VERDIN PARK, NORTHWICH
Verdin Park was formed from the pleasure grounds and parkland of the former Winnington Bank House. The park includes the site of the Roman castle in Northwich. Set out in the early 19th century, the property was acquired by Robert Verdin in 1884 and given to the town to provide an infirmary and a public park with brine swimming baths. The park was laid out by James Holland, a ship's carpenter, and has grand gates acquired from the north lodge at Bostock Hall. Salt subsidence resulted in loss of the brine baths and still impacts the stability of the trees on the boundary banks. Research on this site continues.
LANDSCAPES ON THE LINK
This research was undertaken to understand the history and significance of designed landscapes along the route of the A556 to Bowdon link road in north Cheshire. Sites included Over Tabley Hall with its 17th century walled garden, and Meadowlands, an Arts and Crafts house with a garden believed to have been designed by Thomas H Mawson but now considerably altered. The new road passes through the outlying parkland of Old Mere Hall with its ancient oaks and wood pasture where a green bridge now connects the two parts of the estate.
EDWARD KEMP, LANDSCAPE GARDENER
Research was undertaken for Edward Kemp's bicentenary in 2017 and is ongoing as more is being discovered about the places where he worked. As Joseph Paxton's Superintendant at Birkenhead Park, Kemp was well placed to develop a private practice designing public parks and private gardens for aspiring businessmen. He undertook several commissions in Chester including a garden for Edward Walker owner of the Leadworks, whose house and part of the garden with original planting survive.