*Article courtesy of Worcestershire Archaeology Service*
Today we bring you a guest blog post from Joe Hawkins, Head of Landscape at Hagley, in which he appeals for help from our readers in aiding their restoration programme through the sharing of their images of the Park:
George Lyttelton’s eighteenth century park at Hagley was in its day, considered amongst the greatest of all English landscape gardens, its celebrated beauty drawing praise from some of the century’s most enlightened minds. Today, after almost a century and a half of neglect, a major restoration, part funded by English Heritage, Natural England and The Hagley Hall Estate, is now well underway. Reinstating the park’s former glories and halting its decline, will prevent the park joining the long list of our historic estates whose former prestige, grandeur and cultural importance are now forever lost.
Joe Hawkins, Head of Landscape at Hagley
To achieve an authentic restoration at Hagley, contemporary accounts are collated, and cross-referenced along with archive imagery. Many hours are spent earnestly poring over maps, paintings, prints and photographs to inform and ensure an historic accuracy underpins the restoration. Occasionally a new image or description surfaces which affirms, or sometimes challenges, our perceptions of the park, but generally one way or another, steers us towards a greater authenticity. This is where I would like to appeal to you, the reader, for help with our restoration. If you could kindly search through your photograph albums, those of your parents, or grandparents, or relatives for images taken in Hagley Park, I’d be very excited to see them, for alongside your records of family memories are glimpses beyond that can present us with vital clues to the Hagley landscapes former complexion. No matter how inconsequential you think they are, if they’re in Hagley Park I’m interested. And as a reward for any image which reveals new information to us, I’ll offer a personal guided tour with myself around the landscape.
If you have any images that could help Hagley in their restoration work, please contact Joe directly on [email protected].