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Last Updated: Monday, 26 July, 2004, 15:44 GMT 16:44 UK
Book to record 'glorious gardens'
Stourhead gardens
Gardens like Stourhead in Wiltshire will be included in the handbook
England's most historic gardens are to be documented in a new handbook.

Dr Timothy Mowl of Bristol University is leading a project to record the most historically significant gardens in the country.

The art historian says more than 3,000 gardens and landscapes will be surveyed over the next three decades.

His endeavours have been boosted by a 37,566 grant from the Leverhulme Trust, which awards cash to education and research projects.

Each county... has its own individual garden profile... and its idiosyncratic ways of dealing with prevailing garden fashion
Dr Timothy Mowl

Dr Mowl recognised the need for a Pevsner-style analysis of England's historic gardens in 2000 while writing a course book for the University's Garden History MA students.

In 1951, Sir Nikolaus Pevsner began writing a portable, comprehensive guide to the most significant buildings in England.

Over the last three years, Dr Mowl has visited more than 300 gardens in Gloucestershire, Dorset and Wiltshire to complete the first three volumes of the series.

The grant will enable him to research and write the next three books, focusing on Cornwall, Worcestershire and Oxfordshire.

"The garden hunt is extremely enjoyable and, academically-speaking, prodigiously rewarding," said Dr Mowl.

"Each county, we find, has its own individual garden profile, its times of rich profusion and its idiosyncratic ways of dealing with prevailing garden fashion."


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