Longford Castle, Wiltshire

Welcome to Timothy Mowl's site on Garden and Architectural History.

The UK is full of historic architecture and landscapes, but there are still many lost or simply forgotten gardens and landscapes waiting to be discovered and periods of architectural history ripe for re-assessment. Stourhead in Wiltshire and Stowe in Buckinghamshire, both owned by the National Trust, are celebrated landscapes open to the public. But who has heard of Enys, near Falmouth in Cornwall, a Sleeping Beauty of a garden in the first stages of romantic decay with its walled kitchen garden, summerhouses and chain of ponds or Sir Frank Crisp's wittily cynical Edwardian layout at Friar Park, Henley-on-Thames with its underground caves and fake Matterhorn? Some of the least known gardens, those privately owned, can be the best to visit, just because they remain unspoilt. And was William Kent, the early eighteenth-century artist turned architect turned landscape designer, really a creative genius or just a clever opportunist?

This site gives you an idea of what Tim is trying to achieve with his ongoing series of county guides to the historic landscapes and gardens of England and his revisionist studies of great architects and cultural aesthetes. He has published twelve books to date in the gardens series and his latest is on Herefordshire (9 May 2012). Cambridgeshire will follow in May 2013. His most recent architectural biography on William Kent was published in hardback by Jonathan Cape in May 2006, and is now available in paperback from Pimlico. His latest polemic concerns the social and architectural edginess of his home city: Bristol - City on the Edge (Frances Lincoln, 2006).

Opposite: The Palladian Bridge, Wilton House, Wiltshire (top) and the Formal Parterre, Longford Castle, Wiltshire, by kind permission of Lord Radnor (bottom)

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