Research and Recording

Researching the history of a landscape, its design, construction, development, the people involved and how it was used, all help us to understand the importance of the site both locally and possibly nationally, even internationally. It is also important to record the current state of a landscape. The Trust has always been involved in research and recording, but there are many sites for which we have little or no information so there is always more to discover. We also explore themes like particular types of landscapes, where certain people were involved or within a time period. The outcome of our work is published as site specific reports, on the DGT website, in books, articles in the Trust's Journal and our members' Newsletter, as well as in other publications.   Our reports and the information on the Devon Local List are used by local authorities when considering planning applications and by our conservation team when responding to planning consultations; they are also a valuable resource for academic and other researchers.

We always welcome new members to the team; no previous experience in research is needed as we run a training programme and the different skills and experience of volunteers contributes to revealing the history of the county's designed landscapes. The Trust maintains a library and an archive of records on Devon's designed landscapes. 

We welcome enquiries from researchers who are investigating an aspect of Devon garden heritage. If you are interested in a particular site for which there is currently no report and little detail, please do get in touch with us at [email protected] as we may have more information or be able to suggest other sources. We value the privacy of owners and no private information is shared without the owner's permission.


  • R&R Committee

    We research the history of gardens, parks, public parks, and cemeteries in Devon and record their current state.
  • Get Involved

    How can you get involved to help us with our research?
  • Journal

    Devon Gardens Trust periodically publishes a journal of our research articles.
  • Library Catalogue

    The Trust has a comprehensive library of books and journals at its Exeter office available to consult or borrow.
  • Garden History Sources

    Read about some of the sources we use to research landscapes and garden history.
  • Conservation & Planning

    One of the roles of the Trust is to advise and support garden owners and Local Authorities on planning and other issues that affect our historic gardens.
  • Resource Hub

    The Gardens Trust’s Historic Landscape Project has gathered a large range of support materials to help County Gardens Trusts in their conservation work