Tag: historic landscape cambridgeshire

Ermine St 03

Ermine Street is the old Roman road that ran from London, through the Roman Fortification of Godmanchester on the south bank of the River Great Ouse, and where, on the north bank, the Anglo-Saxon town of Huntingdon was founded.

This garden site was a ground floor flat in Huntingdon’s old Workhouse, a Grade II listed building, behind which ran the the railway line linking London to Edinburgh.

With such varied history, the front garden design was eclectic, using salvaged and re-used materials including timber sleepers (not taken from the railway despiite local rumour!), roman style quarry tiles and eighteenth century reclaimed yorkstone slabs.

 

Woodland in Huntingdonshire

Most people are unaware that Huntingdonshire, a now extinct county of England (contained as a district of Cambridgeshire) contained numerous private and Royal forests in the Middle Ages.

Three years of local, regional and national research, culminating in a year’s hard graft as a mature student at Cambridge University’s Madingley Hall  enabled me to reconstruct local elements of the Anglo-Saxon to Tudor landscape and plot of the extent of five forests as recorded in Plantagenet-Tudor Huntingdonshire.

We can now state, sourcing primary and secondary evidence that there were at least three Royal Forests, three Royal Haga sites (Norman forest nuclei derived from Anglo-Saxon hunting enclosures) a fenland forest and an episcopal Chase, with boundaries contiguous to the Anglo-Saxon established Ramsey Abbey Banlieu boundary.

My plans and transcribed/ translated medieval perambulations are available on www.posthumousplans.co.uk.

I am now researching the County (and others in south east England) in further detail for an MPhil/PhD in Archaeology, assessing the extent and specialisation of Anglo Saxon woodland pastures.

Should you have any enquiries, please contact me.

Buckden towers 01

At the tender age of seventeen, I was invited to join the steering group and planning committee of the Friends of Buckden Towers/Buckden Palace Gardens Restoration Group.

As a team of several interested locals, we planned, designed and implemented a scheme which was sympathetic to the site, reflecting appropriate plant species and variety selection and spatial arrangement in the absence of contemporary Tudor plans.

Buckden Palace, historic home of the Bishop of Lincoln, was one of the towers around the country used to imprison Catharine of Aragon, first wife of King Henry VIII.

The village of Buckden became important to me twenty years later, whilst researching and re-discovering the ‘lost’ Huntingdonshire forest of Harthay and its Anglo-Saxon origins as a hunting preserve.

Hinchingbrooke 01

As a student of Hinchingbrooke School I volunteered to restore the brick Wendy House and gardens, built as a retreat for an eighteenth century Earl’s daughter.

In subsequent years I also provided designs, plants and urns for the herbaceous Long Border, Rose Garden and House Terrace around the historic Hinchingbrooke House, seat of the Cromwells, Montagus and Earls of Sandwich, and presently the classrooms of the school’s sixth form.