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Parks and gardens including battlefields

Historic parks, gardens and battlefields

Historic parks and gardens are a fragile and finite resource, they can easily be damaged beyond repair or lost forever. They are important illustrations of local history or of the history of gardening or horticulture. They may have an association with a particular person or event or form the setting for a building of historic interest. Many historic parks and gardens contain collections of mature and/or exotic trees and shrubs which illustrate the history of exotic species incorporated over the last two centuries. They may also be of archaeological, architectural, nature conservation, visual, amenity, educational, tourism or recreational value.

Similarly, registered battlefield sites provide valuable historic information regarding the particular landscape and its military significance.

Historic parks and gardens can be either nationally designated and included on the Historic England Register of Parks and Gardens, or of local importance and identified in the “Gazetteer of Historic Parks and Gardens in Avon”.

Nationally registered parks and gardens

Historic England compiles and maintains the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historical Interest in England. The register identifies designed, ornamental landscapes which are of ‘special historic interest’ in the national context. There are approximately 1,370 sites on the register and further sites are constantly added. There are eight registered sites in South Gloucestershire.

  • Ashwicke Hall
  • Badminton Park
  • Dodington House
  • Dyrham Park
  • Stoke Park
  • Thornbury Castle
  • Tortworth Court
  • Warmley House

Locally important parks and gardens in South Gloucestershire

In addition to the nationally important parks and gardens there are a number of other parks or gardens of local importance to South Gloucestershire. They are based on the “Gazetteer of Historic Parks and Gardens in Avon” (1991) by S. Harding and D. Lambert. Since 1991 a number of Parks have been added to this list. These make a valuable contribution to the heritage, environment and local distinctiveness of the District. They are all entered on the Historic Environment Record and as such are subject to procedures outlined for the treatment of archaeological sites.

The Avon Gardens Trust holds information on local Parks and Gardens and the Parks and Gardens UK website is also a free online resource for parks and gardens nationally.


Historic England’s Register of Historic Battlefields identifies 46 important English battlefields, including one in South Gloucestershire at Lansdown. Its purpose is to offer them protection through the planning system, and to promote a better understanding of their significance and public enjoyment.

The Battle of Lansdown Hill took place in 1643 and was one of a series of battles resulting from the struggle for control between King and Parliament. As well as being an attractive landscape, the battlefield has a wide variety of historic features dating from the battle and earlier. A memorial was erected to the Royalist Sir Bevil Grenville on the crest of the hill. The stone wall on the plateau is likely to have been a feature of the battlefield in 1643. Two key viewpoints are publicly accessible and a complete circuit can be achieved from public highways and footpaths.

Further information about Historic Battlefields is available from Historic England.

Development affecting Historic Parks and Gardens and Registered Battlefields

Development proposals will be expected to maintain the historic character and appearance of historic parks and gardens or registered battlefields and their settings and, where possible, better reveal historic landscape features or planting schemes.

Unsympathetic development which is likely to threaten the historic value of historic parks and gardens or battlefields will not be permitted. However, appropriate development can provide a means for the restoration and maintenance of these areas. Where development within or affecting the setting of a historic park, garden or battlefield is appropriate, the council will expect development proposals to respect the sensitive nature of these sites and will seek the implementation of measures and/or management plans for their enhancement.


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