Tudor and Stuart Royal Gardens (Paperback)
The author’s first work for Historic Royal Palaces was as the landscape team leader for the restoration of the Privy Garden at Hampton Court in 1993–5, and he has been on their gardens panel ever since. This has given him a deep interest in the concept of Royal Gardens – what they were for, how they were seen internationally, and how they acted as the channel of foreign influences on English garden design. This book is intended to discuss these matters covering Tudor and Stuart times. Broadly speaking, the start of Tudor times was when it was acknowledged that fine gardens were essential to creating a good impression on visiting dignitaries as were fine buildings, gorgeous apparel, fine horses and lavish banqueting. A wonderful account of the reception of Katherine of Aragon and her diplomatic entourage with its finale in the gardens of Richmond Palace is quoted. The end of the Stuart period, especially during William III’s time, was the full flowering of the Royal Garden, at Hampton Court and Kensington especially, in the attempt to keep up with Versailles and thus be taken seriously in the international diplomatic arena.The book reconciles and combines archaeological reports on the several royal palaces, extensive original research in The National Archives at Kew, and the author’s insights into design history in these periods, to provide a satisfyingly complete account of all royal gardens over the 200-year timespan.Much of the research draws together material from a variety of sources, to highlight the internationalism and diplomatic theme of Royal Gardens and to produce original interpretations of the improvements to the dozen or so Royal Gardens over time. The author has summarized his research into a series of 32 ground plans of the royal properties to illustrate their form and development.