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William Barron (1805-91) and Nineteenth-Century British Arboriculture: Evergreens in Victorian Industrializing Society

Paul Elliott, Charles Watkins and Stephen Daniels
Garden History
Vol. 35, Supplement: Cultural and Historical Geographies of the Arboretum (2007), pp. 129-148
Published by: Garden History Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25472381
Page Count: 20
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William Barron (1805-91) and Nineteenth-Century British Arboriculture: Evergreens in Victorian Industrializing Society
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Abstract

William Barron's work at Elvaston Castle, Derbyshire, the seat of the Earls of Harrington, became famous when the gardens were opened to the public during the 1850s. Working with his employers, Barron utilized a variety of landscape gardening techniques including the provision of topiary, rockwork, a lake and hundreds of trees, many of which were transplanted great distances, to transform the grounds into a private chivalric fantasy realm. Subsequently, with the support of the Stanhopes, Barron utilized this knowledge and experience to develop careers as nurseryman, tree transplanter, and landscape gardener receiving multiple private and public commissions including some for major urban parks such as Peel Park, Macclesfield (1854). The paper argues that inspired by his moral and religious convictions, in addition to his horticultural experience, trees, and especially evergreens such as his beloved yew, were central to Barron's career. Although the formal pinetum only occupied part of the grounds, he perceived the whole of Elvaston to be one large pinetum artistically treated, and used the publication of the British Winter Garden (1852) nursery, transplanting and landscape gardening commissions to further these objectives, especially the promotion of evergreens.

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