Investigating gardens and landscapes

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THERE was a full day’s programme for 60 participants from all over Angus at a training day organised by the Angus Landscape Survey Group and held at Brechin Media Centre on Saturday.

Following an introduction by Sue Hewer and Dr Peter Burman of the Garden History Society, archaeologist Marilyn Brown of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Scotland described how the landscapes had changed from the influence of the medieval monasteries through to how the great houses such as Glamis imitated the renaissance of Versailles.

Members of the Angus Landscape Survey Group described Stracathro walled garden and the setting of the House of Dun and other Angus landscapes.

Vanessa Stephen, a freelance landscape architect, described how a landscape needed time to mature, particularly with regard to mature trees.

In beautiful sunshine in the afternoon, half of the group went to Stracathro walled garden and then on to House of Dun. The other group reversed this arrangement, in what was seen as an enlightening experience where the development of these landscapes could be seen and how they had evolved over the years.

Angus Landscape Survey Group extended thanks to Angus Council for their support as well as Angus Archives, Forfar Library, City of Dundee Archives, the University of Dundee Archives, the RCHAMS, The National Library of Scotland Maps Library, and the house owners who welcomed the group to their properties.

The survey complements the existing inventory of nationally important gardens and historic landscapes across Scotland maintained by Historic Scotland. The work is being undertaken regionally or within counties by local volunteers and co-ordinated by a member of GHSS. It involves gathering information already in the public domain and usually on-line. With the permission of the landowner, this is followed up by a site visit to observe and record the garden and landscape as they exist now.

The Angus group would welcome more volunteers. If you would like to become a landscape detective, contact Sue Hewer at Clintlaw Farmhouse, Lintrathen, Kirriemuir, Angus, DD8 5JF.