Research gives us a deeper understanding of our gardens and landscapes. This is critical when looking at their protection and conservation.

A great deal of garden history in Leicestershire and Rutland has already been recorded but there is always more to do.

We have done a considerable amount of research into Leicestershire & Rutland Parks and Gardens. This has been put together in our Directory together with other information available on line. In addition some of our research papers are also available on this website.

Help with our Research

You do not have to be a professional researcher or even have any previous experience but if you are interested in local history, this part of our work could appeal to you.

We are a small group who meet regularly, combining our skills, sharing information and just having fun. You can commit as much or as little time as you wish.

You will have the opportunity to look at a garden or landscape through new eyes.

The resources of the County Record Office, together with online material, are vital to our research and you will learn how to access these sources of historical material.

Research is like a detective story which leaves you wanting to find out more.

If you would like to get actively involved in our work, meet new people, use existing skills and gain new ones, or just learn more about our activities, please contact us.

Research News



Transcript of the notes interim, to pass away the time, Mrs Fry & I being alone, she took up her Work- Basket, & I took up “The stoops to conquer” & read two or three Acts of it to Mrs Fry till my Cousin, returned Home to supper.Wednesday 30 SeptAfter breakfast had a walk down. Garendon Lane, over the Meadows leading to Sheep’s- head, as far as the handsome Road, with long rows of Trees…

Coleorton Hall Gardens 1827

Special collections of Leicester University the Excursions of William Fry (1763*1849). In 1827 he was visiting relations in the Loughborough area and on one day after visiting Ashby de la Zouch, he was passing the Hall and had the opportunity to see the grounds, Attached are his description. After we had taken a cup of tea at the Queen’s Head, Ashby de la Zouch, we passed on through Cole-Orton. On our arrival at the white-gate,…

Susan Campbell 1931-2024

Research Group members were very sad to learn of the death of Susan Campbell, founder and chair of the Walled Kitchen Garden Network.  She came and spoke to the Trust some years ago and inspired us to start our research project.  We, and in particular Elizabeth Bacon, with whom she stayed after the lecture, view her as our mentor. Her book: “A History of Kitchen Gardening” remains as the definitive work on this subject.

Reclining chairs donated to “The Secret Garden”

Elizabeth Bacon and Sue Blaxland have visited “The Secret Garden” at Glenfield Hospital to hand over officially the two reclining garden chairs that the Trust is donating to the project. Originally the walled kitchen garden to Leicester Frith (the Victorian mansion on the hospital site) and used by Mental Health Services during the 20th Century, the garden had become derelict. Thanks to many generous donations and volunteer support, it is now almost restored and is…

Secret Garden progress

I recently had to go to Glenfield Hospital and took the opportunity to visit the Secret Garden, formerly the walled kitchen garden at Leicester Frith, which we researched a couple of years ago. I was keen to see the progress that had been made in the garden. Thanks to donations of materials and labour, a seating area has been created and there will be a café.  In front of the 18th century wall, individual bays…

New postcard of Garendon Hall

Garendon Hall, Loughborough. 1901-1920: Garendon Hall and garden. Franked 1916 (File:1546)

We have recently acquired this postcard of Garendon Hall, Loughborough, which is an interesting addition to our collection. Some years ago, Research Group members had a private visit to Gardendon Park: in fact, the image on the main Research page shows four of the group walking down the avenue away from the Temple of Venus, apparently herding sheep! Our Research Publications page contains a report which is taken from the Parks and Gardens UK website…

Old Vicarage at Gumley

Gumley walled kitchen garden

When we started out with the Walled Garden Project we had a list of known walled gardens in the two counties. I do not think we expected to keep finding more, but we do. The walled kitchen garden at Gumley Old Vicarage is a case in point. Early on in lock down Gill and Paul Knight were walking near Gumley and Gill spotted this obvious walled garden. She rang in great excitement to tell us…