Post-War Landscapes

Introductions to Heritage Assets

Historic England’s Introductions to Heritage Assets (IHAs) are accessible, authoritative, illustrated summaries of what we know about specific types of archaeological site, building, landscape or marine asset. Typically they deal with subjects which lack such a summary, either because the literature is dauntingly voluminous or – more often – where little has been written. Many subjects are little understood or appreciated because they developed as recently as the twentieth century, and this is also true of landscapes, where the architect’s intervention has been subtle or easily taken for granted.

This is particularly the case with the artfully artless landscapes created since the Second World War, the subject of this IHA. Gone are long formal avenues of trees and displays of mass bedding from private estates and public parks: these are small, easily maintained gardens based on an allegorical theme and/or subtle planting, or minimal landscapes of trees and grass that made the most of new earth-moving machinery.

The new profession of landscape architects eclipsed but did not entirely replace the amateur horticulturalist or municipal gardener. Like their forebears, they designed private gardens, public parks and cemeteries, but also worked on housing estates, at universities, and for large corporations at their suburban headquarters. A few became well-known names, among them Geoffrey Jellicoe, Sylvia Crowe and Brenda Colvin, as celebrated for their writing as for their work. There were, however, many other significant figures, some specialising wholly in landscape design and others who added the discipline to a professional practice in architecture and town planning. Many also produced strategies for areas far larger than can be defined as a registered asset, and this IHA briefly acknowledges that post-war landscapes extended across new towns, forests and areas of industrial reclamation.


  • Post-war landscapes
  • Private gardens
  • Landscapes outside the garden
  • New lives new landscapes
  • Further reading

Additional Information

  • Series: Guidance
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 40
  • Product Code: HEAG290


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