The origins, development and influence of William Shenstone’s landscape garden design at The Leasowes, Halesowen

Hemingway, John Andrew (2017). The origins, development and influence of William Shenstone’s landscape garden design at The Leasowes, Halesowen. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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William Shenstone was a polymath. He wrote letters, essays, composed poetry, painted water-colours, played
musical instruments and indulged in architectural design, but above all he created a landscape garden at The Leasowes in the West Midlands that became a celebrated place to visit in the eighteenth century. Shenstone worked during the early days of the English landscape garden movement, and while others created grounds with political and/or historical themes he fashioned a garden in a 'naturesque' style. He created a version, called a ferme ornée that was a distinctive form of English garden at the time.

This thesis is the first detailed study of The Leasowes and presents a re-evaluation of his garden. Though many
people have written about the landscape in the past, few have had the opportunity to look at it from a multidisciplinary perspective which marries an exploration of archival and literary material with landscape studies and archaeological evidence.

The study evaluates why and how Shenstone created his garden. It explores his cultural networks and influences
and what he did to make it distinctive. It looks at the planting regime and the verse and poetry that illuminated
the garden. Finally, it discovers other gardeners who were influenced by his work before and after his death.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CT Biography
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture


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