We work on projects ranging from the conservation of textiles to transcribing documents, helping in museums, recording gardens and churches and refurbishing books in libraries. Our groups always welcome new members.

Skills and techniques can be learned on the job and there are special training days available so please do not feel you are not competent to become a volunteer.

The Garden History Group

The Garden History Group supports, trains and encourages its members in researching aspects of Cambridgeshire’s historic landscapes and gardens in a friendly and welcoming environment. The group forms part of the Cambridgeshire Gardens Trust which organises talks and garden visits to foster a love of the county’s historic landscapes and to promote public awareness of our parks and gardens heritage, which it seeks to safeguard and conserve. Our output is published in the CGT Newsletter and occasional books and informs local planning applications.

Our group has pursued some interesting and worthwhile projects. In the tercentenary year celebrating Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown’s achievements, the Garden History Group, jointly with the Arts Society, sponsored the creation and installation of a stained-glass window in the Church Centre of Fenstanton where this famous landscape gardener is buried and whose refurbished memorial stands in the chancel.

More recently, attention has focused on walled gardens. Scanning early Ordnance Survey maps we found evidence of the spread of productive walled gardens in Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire. It was disturbing to discover how many are buried beneath housing developments and car parks, but a few glories remain, notably at Wimpole and Ramsey Abbey Walled Garden. The information we unearthed is being archived and will prove helpful to planners, future garden historians and garden enthusiasts.

We are currently looking forward to a new research project which will be to assist Historic England in researching and surveying heritage glass houses in England. Should you be aware of any such within Cambridgeshire we would love to hear from you.

A second additional project will be to identify gardens in the county designed by Robert Marnock. One example is Pampisford Hall but are there others?

To find out more about these activities please contact the Garden Group co-ordinator, Judith Christie, by phone 01954 230536 or by email judith.christie@ntlworld.com You will be assured of a warm welcome.

Garden H V 2023

The Church Recorders Group

St. Andrew’s Swavesey

A view of St Andrew’s Church, Swavesey and a Poppy head in the South Aisle.

The completed record of St. Peter and St. Paul, Fenstanton, was presented and dedicated in May 2022.

Recording of St. Andrew’s Church, Swavesey, is now almost finished, with the last of the observational work about to be completed.  The compilation of the record is well underway and should be finished by the summer.

Meanwhile, we have just been granted permission to record St John the Baptist Church in Holywell. We plan to start observational work of this lovely small church around the beginning of March 2023. We are a small group and would welcome anyone who would like to join us.

Anyone who is interested, please contact the Church Recorders co-ordinator, Pat Hamilton, by e-mail at i.ham@btinternet.com .

Photos by John Cutting.

Holly Isted, the Historic Buildings Support Officer for the Diocese of Ely, has posted an article on the Diocese website about church recording, and in particular, the HuntsArts Church Recorders. Below is a link to the website where you can see the article, including photos from the Church Record Dedication of St Peter And St Paul, Fenstanton.

Ely diocese news-jobs-and-events/news-and-announcements/news/recording-the-past-for-the-future-how-church-recorders-could-help-you

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