Changes made to Angus’ landscape

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Sixty people attended a full days programme of training at the Brechin Media Centre at the business park on Saturday.

Following an introduction by Sue Hewer and Dr Peter Burman of the Garden History Society, Archaeologist Marilyn Brown of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Scotland described how the landscapes had changed from the influence of the medieval monasteries through to how the great houses such as Glamis imitated the renaissance of Versailles.

Members of the Angus Landscape Survey Group visited Stracathro Walled Garden and the setting of the House of Dun and other Angus Landscapes.

Vanessa Stephen, a freelance Landscape Architect described how landscaped gardens needed time to mature, particularly with regard to mature trees.

In beautiful sunshine in the afternoon, half of the group went to the Stracathro Walled Garden and then on to House of Dun.

The other Group reversed this arrangement, in what was seen as a very enlightening experience where the development of these landscapes could be seen and how they had evolved over the years.

All too often it is the house which is deemed to be the most interesting component of an historic estate. However, the gardens and the designed landscapes which surround the house are also part of its heritage and can be an equally important as a source of information about its history and that of the locality.

Gardens and landscapes are more fragile than the houses for which they provide the setting and more likely to be changed over time in response to fashion and the personal preferences of their owners. If they go unrecorded, they are inevitably lost for ever, depriving future generations of an important facet of their history.

Angus Landscape Survey Group would like thank to thank Angus Council for their support in putting on this event as well as the support of Angus Archives, Forfar Library, City of Dundee Archives, the University of Dundee Archives, the RCHAMS, The National Library of Scotland Maps Library, and the house owners who welcomed us to their properties.

The survey compliments the existing Inventory of nationally important gardens and historic landscapes across Scotland maintained by Historic Scotland. The work is being undertaken regionally or within counties by local volunteers and co-ordinated by a member of GHSS.

The work involves gathering together of information already in the public domain and usually on-line. With the permission of the landowner, this is followed up by a site visit to observe and record the garden and landscape as they exist now.

The Angus group would welcome more volunteers to join the team. If you would like to hear more about the work or would like to join and become a landscape detective, please contact Sue Hewer by Royal Mail at Clintlaw Farmhouse, Lintrathen, Kirriemuir, Angus DD8 5JF.