Past Talks

A History of Oxfordshire Parks & Gardens

Date: 19th January 2009
Speaker: Pete Chivers

The meeting took place at St Edburg’s Church Hall, Bicester. Forty three members and five guests attended. Pete Chivers outlined a number of projects that the Society was currently undertaking and that members might wish to assist with.

Pete began his talk by indicating that Oxfordshire contained many fine examples of parks and gardens that had been developed over the centuries to reflect the changing styles and innovations of their historical periods. It is possible to trace the way in which the first parks evolved from royal ownership to become a leisure facility for the rich and a symbol of wealth and rank for the gentry. Changes in social conditions have made parks and gardens a resource that can be enjoyed by all in our present society. The table below summarises the development of parks and gardens in Oxfordshire and compares this with national trends and historical events.