The earthworks at Benington Park, Hertfordshire: An exercise in dating an 'archaeological garden'

Anne Rowe, Christopher Taylor, T. Williamson

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2 Citations (Scopus)


At first sight, this paper is an attempt to describe, analyse and date the archaeological remains of an exceptionally fine garden and park in Hertfordshire. The garden is, apparently, well documented, there being two large-scale detailed estates maps of it. But although the complex arrangements of the site and the history of the owners, their friends and relatives were quickly ascertained it has proved impossible to date it with absolute certainty. At least four separate occasions over a period of more than a century have been suggested but none can be verified. The documentation proved to be elusive with regard to date and, more importantly, the purpose of the key estate map of 1628 could not be ascertained. And the map itself bears little relation to that which survives. The paper is thus published partly as an example of methodology but primarily as a warning to garden historians and archaeologists.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-55
Number of pages19
JournalLandscape History
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Hertfordshire
  • archaeological gardens
  • maps
  • terraces
  • deer parks
  • avenues
  • social history

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