Devon Gardens Trust, like other county gardens trusts, seeks to protect and conserve the historic designed landscape. This includes gardens, parkland, cemeteries and public parks. Historic England states, 'Historic parks and gardens are a fragile and finite resource: they can easily be damaged beyond repair or lost forever. From town gardens and public parks to the great country estates, such places are an important, distinctive, and much cherished part of our inheritance and we have a duty to care for them.' Nationwide, there are over 1650 sites on the Historic England Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England (click here to access the Historic England website), assessed to be of national importance. In Devon there are 56 sites included in the Register, five of which are at Grade I, being of exceptional importance, fifteen at Grade II*, which indicates that the site is 'particularly important, of more than special interest', and the rest are Grade II of 'special interest, warranting every effort to preserve [it].' In addition, there are over 180 parks, gardens and cemeteries listed in the Devon Local List of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest, which are important designed landscapes in the local context of Devon; some are of national importance and merit inclusion on the Historic England Register at Grade II . To be included in the Devon Local List, sites must be largely intact as a readable landscape, even if in divided ownership, and have significant remains that demonstrate one or more of the following:
- illustrates a particular aspect of garden history:
- a particular period or style, or succession of periods/styles
- has significant intact features (built and /or groundworks)
- demonstrates particular artistic, social, cultural or economic influences
- has unusual or rare garden features of merit/historic significance
- has known garden archaeological significance whether excavated or not
- has group value (eg contiguous sites with intervisibility, sites with strong design association or family links)
- provides an example of the work of a designer of:
- national/international reputation
- local reputation
- in addition to exhibiting other criteria is associated with a significant historical individual of:
- national or international importance
- regional importance
- local importance
- is the work of an influential plants-person/nurseryman etc and/or comprises a significant plant collection only if other criteria are also present (Note: the conservation and promotion of plant collections is the role of other organizations like Plant Heritage, NCPG, Hardy Plant Society.)
The criteria for a site to be included on the Devon Gazetteer can be downloaded here.
The sites on the Devon Local List are 'heritage assets’ and are included on the List of Heritage Assets compiled by Local Planning Authorities; as such they are a material consideration when considering planning applications. Responses made by DGT's conservation officer to planning applications affecting heritage assets on the Devon Local List are accessible on local authority planning portals. The Devon Local List includes a wide range of designed landscapes, most of which are in private ownership and, as the Trust respects the owner's right to privacy, details given on this website is information either already in the public domain or where the owner has given permission.
Search Parks & GardensUse this Search function to locate gardens, parks and cemeteries that appear in the Historic England Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England or in the Devon Gazetteer of Parks and Gardens of Local Historic Interest.
MapHere you can search on a map of the county by different types of garden, park or cemetery.
Designers DirectoryDevon has a strong tradition of owners designing their own landscapes and gardens, but many designers, landscape gardeners, and architects have also been involved.
Garden History of DevonThe designed landscapes of Devon have a history going back hundreds of years. The Trust is involved in researching and publishing the stories of the owners, families, designers, gardeners, nurserymen and many others who have contributed to the county's rich garden heritage.