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Advice letter to Post Graduate Certificate Garden History and MA Garden History applicants

 Direct Line: 020 8331 9220

Fax No: 020 8331 9105

E-mail: R.Holden@gre.ac.uk


Dear Applicant.

Post Graduate Certificate Garden History and MA Garden History

Thank you very much for your expression of interest.  Insofar as possible we deal with all applications on the basis of personal interview.

The PG Certificate Garden History can be done as a 1-year Distance Learning programme or as an autumn term attendance mode full-time programme. The courses which comprise the Certificate are also part of the MA Garden History which can be done in one year full time or two years part time (September to September) . The garden history programmes are for students from various disciplines who wish to develop an understanding and interest in gardens with a view to developing curatorial and conservation skills in Historic Gardens.  In both full-time and part-time modes the final three months (July to September) is by flexible learning (you are completing the equivalent of a dissertation and there is no regular attendance, so you could work full-time).  The Certificate (which may be viewed as introductory or as a taster ) consists of two 30 credit courses: one which is a general introduction to Garden History in a global sense (History and Philosophy of Garden Design) and one which is an introduction to Landscape and Garden Design Theory.

Garden History is a fairly new and developing area and applied garden history is a growing specialism (promoted particularly in the UK founding of the Garden History Society in 1966 and by the Town and Country Amenities Act of 1974 –which introduced listing of historic gardens and parks).

I recommend you read at this stage:

  • Sir Geoffrey, Jellicoe, Landscape of Man. Thames and Hudson: 1995

And (though we apologize for referring you to staff publications)

  • Tom Turner, European Gardens: History, philosophy and design. London:Routledge 2010  ISBN: 978-0-415-49684-1
  • Tom Turner, Asian gardens 3000 BCE to 2000 CE. London:Routledge 2010  ISBN: 978-0-415-49687-2

Further guidance is on http://www.gardenvisit.com/history_theory

A good overview can be had from a browse of the garden and landscape history shelves of the RIBA Library (Royal Institute of British Architects)  66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD  and the Royal Horticultural Association Vincent Square, London SW1 (both are open to the public and as significant have open access shelves. You will of course be expected to join the British Library when you begin the programmes and membership of the Garden History Society is recommended.

It is worth reading Garden History the GHS journal and Studies in the History of Gardens & Designed Landscapes.


Within the enclosed handbook (when sending these letters by post), there is a chart showing all the courses in our postgraduate landscape portfolio which include the courses (aka units or modules). If you are receiving this letter by email, you can download the Landscape Graduate and Postgraduate Portfolio from here:


You also need to explore gardens and landscapes, a good guide is Hudson’s Historic Houses & Gardens, Castles & Heritage Sites http://www.hudsonsguide.co.uk/home.html

The Garden Museum by Lambeth Palace is also worth a visit and its exhibitions are of a high quality


Abroad I recommend the website of the Monuments Historique in France (La Caisse Nationale des Monuments Historiques et des Sites ) on the Paris field trip we visit the Hotel du Sully bookshop which is strongly recommended ref. http://www.paris.org/Monuments/caisse.html



and the UNESCO World Heritage website http://whc.unesco.org/

and the 1962 UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Safeguarding of Beauty and Character of Landscapes and Sites, ref.


the IFLA section www.iflaclc.org website

Term dates 2011-12

Monday 19 September             transition week begins, part timers

w/c Monday 26 September      start of term 1

mid November 2011                Thursday to Monday Paris field trip (optional)

Friday 16 December 2011       teaching ends (nb there is no half term breaks)

w/c Monday 9 Jan. 2012         regular teaching begins

Friday30 Marchl 2012             end of term 2

Monday 23 April 2012            term 3 starts

Friday 11 May 2012                end of regular teaching,

1 June 2012                             end of assessment

Avery Hill Access

Teaching is largely based at the School of Architecture and Construction, Avery Hill, Eltham. A map is on  www.streetmap.co.uk/ and check the postcode SE1 2PQ. Note the nearest railway station is Falconwood which is 15 minutes walk, there are free shuttle minibuses from Falconwood to Avery Hill from 7.35 to 9.50 at 15 minute intervals. There are also public bus and minicab services from Eltham station to the campus in case it is raining (about £5 by minicab). Note the University is planning a new School of Architecture and Construction building in Greenwich but the earliest that is due to open is the 2013-14 academic year.

Field Trips and International Workshop

Self drive visit to Rousham and Stowe Saturday early  October 2011: this is a day trip to two key eighteenth century landscape gardens

Thursday evening 19 to Monday 22 November: There will be a Paris field trip 19-22 November aimed at PG Certificate Landscape Design students, this is also open to Certificate and MA Garden Design students if you have not been before.


Thursday to Monday  mid November 2011,: Field Trip to Paris

This field trip is for all first year Certificate LD and Garden History student. We will stay in a hotel in central Paris and visit a new park and gardens (e.g. the Arsenale exhibition of Paris urbanism, La Villette, Bassin Stalingrad, Parc de Bercy, Bibliotheque Nationale, Musée du Quai Branly, the Viaduc Plantée, parks in social housing. etc.). This visit is important to form a common frame of reference of contemporary public landscape architecture and urban design.

It is led by Robert Holden and Jamie Liversedge and the aim is to relate the tours to their construction and horticulture teaching (we walk along extolling the delights of mastic asphalt relative to granite paving, and the merits of monospecific block planting and Parisian polychromatic brickwork and inventive bonds from the 1930s) . For garden history students this will form an introduction to some of the profession al terminology used in the construction industry and by landscape professionals.

We will depart Thursday evening, c.6.30pm from St Pancras check-in and arrive back London Monday evening. I will advise on 15 September of the dates and need to know whether you are able to go on this by end of September so I can make final bookings on the basis of cheques or other payment made out for the travel. Costs to be paid to the university will be £120 for rail travel, insurance and contribution to staff costs. Once a booking is made it is not possible to cancel or obtain a refund.


The Arts and Humanities Research Council also offers five awards for taught Professional Preparation Masters courses in crafts (we arguably count in that category) nationally, Information is on




However, you should contact me well before December if interested In these Masters awards


However, note that the government is likely to be in the process of changing its post graduate funding policy (we await the Browne committee report). Note too that for Home students government policy in respect of support for higher education is also changing, and this affects some second degree programmes (“awards equivalent to or lower than that already held (ELQs)”), this university’s  statement on this is on:


and this states that :

“Some qualifications are exempt from the new policy, these include:

  • Foundation degrees
  • Courses leading to registration as an architect or landscape architect

My advice is print this out and hold it on record and present it when asked for a fee account. The Higher Education Funding Council’s advice on this is on http://www.hefce.ac.uk/FAQ/elq.htm I suspect that the University’s policy is because of an indication that landscape architecture is astrategically important and vulnerable subject (SIVS)”, however, government policy appears to change on this matter. I can find no clear advice from the Department of Business, INofrmation and Skills website, I’m afraid, but it does appear this policy only affects those resident in England. Note I mention landscape architecture because the Landscape Institute has a academic membership and the programme can be used to apply for academic membership of the Landscape Institute.

Other advice:

Do register for EdinaDigimap once you have received an Athens number on registration (http://edina.ac.uk/digimap ).  It gives free on-line access to Ordnance Survey maps including historical maps. Do check the library website for Architecture and Landscape


We advise you use London libraries, for instance, the LI library


the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)


and the Royal Horticlutural Society’s libraries especially the Lindley Library in Vincent Square, SW1.


and we advise you become a member of the British Library www.bl.uk/ including use of their map library.

This is a standard letter, however, should you have particular queries at this stage do contact me: my email is R.Holden@greenwich.ac.uk and you can telephone via the School Office on 0208 331 9100.

If you can advise of your address we will send this letter by post and attach further information as below.

Yours sincerely


Robert Holden



EXAMPLE ONLY: Encl. Rousham and Stowe visit October 2010 and Paris Field Trip booking form

Self-drive Historic Landscape Garden Study Visit: Rousham and Stowe

Meet 11am Saturday 9 October 2010 at entrance to Rousham (leave Stowe c.4.30pm)

For students who can drive there, do share cars. Pay yourselves at the entrance. Bring rain proofs and stout walking shoes, this involved walking. Under-thirty year olds may have to practice country walking beforehand.  NB difficult access by public transport to Stowe, or from Rousham to Stowe Lower Hayford railway station is easy walk to Rousham.

Rousham Park House and Garden entry £5 (pay individually at the gatehouse, nb bring £5 exactly, no change)

North East of Oxford

Nr Steeple Aston, Bicester
Oxfordshire OX25 4QX

For map ref http://www.streetmap.co.uk

Rousham and its landscape garden are a place of pilgrimage for students of the work of William Kent (1685-1748). Rousham represents the first phase of English landscape garden design and remains almost as Kent left it, one of the few gardens of this date to have escaped alteration, with many features which delighted eighteenth century visitors to Rousham still in situ, such as the ponds and cascades in Venus’ Vale, the Cold Bath, and seven arched Praeneste, Townsend’s Building, the Temple of the Mill, and, on the skyline, a sham ruin known as the ‘Eyecatcher’.

The house, built in 1635 by Sir Robert Dormer, is still in the ownership of the same family. Kent added the wings and the stable block. The south front is almost as Kent left it, but for the replacement of the octagonal glazing with plain glass. This was carried out by the architect St. Aubyn when he added the north side of the house in 1876.

Stowe Landscape Gardens admission £7.50 (pay individually at entrance)
MK18 5EH
Tel: +44 (0)1280 822 850
Fax: +44 (0)1280 822 437 for map ref http://www.streetmap.co.uk

Stowe Gardens owned by the National Trust are just west of Buckingham.

Stowe was created in the 18th century as an idealised version of nature with over forty monuments and temples set against a backdrop of glorious open spaces, wooded valleys and ornamental lakes. Given to the National Trust in 1989 the gardens have been undergoing an ambitious restoration programme that is now two thirds underway. At its centre is Stowe House currently also being conserved and the gardens are being replanted in one of the largest historic garden conservation programmes in the country.

It is the most celebrated English landscape garden of the eighteenth century and like a palimpsest with layers of design overlain. Bridgeman’s formality was succeeded by the rococo landscape gardening of William Kent and later the picturesque style of Lancelot Brown and Lord Cobham, one on top of the other just as medieval manuscript parchments were written upon, scraped off and written over (usually in the other direction).

Together the trip to both gardens forms an ideal introduction to the eighteenth century landscape garden which is a key to an understanding of English landscape architecture and garden design. and is a complement to the tour of Painshill undertaken in Landscape and Garden Design Precedents.

Robert Holden can carry three passengers email R.Holden@gre.ac.uk

Robert Holden 3 August 2010


EXAMPLE ONLY: Encl. Rousham and Stowe visit October 2010 and Paris Field Trip booking form



Issue 30/7/2010  (nb book your own accommodation)  

base: Hôtel du Nord et de l’Est, 49, rue de Malte 75011 Paris Tél : +33 (0)1 47 00 71 70 Fax : +33 (0)1 43 57 51 16 http://www.hotel-nord-est.com/ metro Oberkampf ligne 5, the hotel is just south of Place de la République (c. €100 per night for a twin i.e €50 per night per person with deals for three nights or more. Or with three day internet bookings at €65 for two people as I read it  )  

 All times are local British or French times (one hour ahead of British time). Ensure you have your own passports, visas and necessary travel documents. For example, Chinese nationals will have to obtain a visa and Robert Holden can write you an academic letter; note in previous years Chinese applicants have had to apply for an interview and the interview date is sent by post and is not changeable, so apply as soon as possible ref. http://www.consulfrance-londres.org/spip.php?article318. Note travel and medical insurance is organised by the university provided you are fully registered (and have filled in the form below). Carry passports at all times in France (for police identity checks).

There are banks with bureaux de change close by (shut at weekend), but otherwise use plastic cards in holes in the wall e.g. Crédit Lyonnais is just by the Oberkampf métro. All students will need to buy a métro carnet consisting of a carnet of 10 metro tickets (c.€11.40), to save queuing you might also be able to buy Paris tourist travel and carnets at St Pancras Eurostar, fares are cheaper than London (equivalent of 80p for an unlimited métro ride inside the city of Paris).

Cheaper dormitory accommodation is available nearby at Hotel St Sebastian, a two star hotel 42 rue St-Sébastian 75011 Paris tel 00 44 (0)1 4338 5757 with 4 per room, /night per room@ c.€35 per head for dormiroy rooms, or singles at €65 and doubles at €40 per head. Ref http://www.hotel-st-sebastien.com/pages/loca_US.html. But you must book this yourself preferably as a group. Alternatively try http://www.hostelbookers.com/hostels/france/paris/4493/

Itinerary (nb. programme may change- due to weather and how fast we go, start of day times at the hotel are not to change please note). It can be cold and wet in November so take headgear and sensible waterproof shoes. Note there is a fair amount of walking, so some younger people may have to train for this, we advise walk at least 10km per day & NO REFUND IF YOU MISS THE TRAIN.


17.00hrs Thursday 18  November check in London St. Pancras for Eurostar, by 17.15 hrs for  17.55hrs departure to Paris, calls Ebbsfleet 18.12, arrives Gard du Nord Paris 21.17 hrs, métro travel to Hotel Atlantide (about 10-15 minutes). Those of us who so wish can eat in rue Oberkampf (about 10 minutes walk away) or Le Troisième Bureau 74, rue Folie Méricourt. which is géniale.

10.00 hrs Friday 19  November meet at metro north end, Oberkampf entry (nice café on corner of rue Malte) , pick up Paris map, for picnics to keep costs down or in the Friday market outside in Blvd Richard Lenoir. In cafés you either sit down and they serve you (it costs more) or you stand and drink and eat at the bar. Don’t get served at the bar and then take the food to a table.

Nb before- 10am meeting do check out the street market in the Blv Richard Lenoir.


10.15 hrs métro then walk to Monument pour la Déportation (George Pinguisson 1962) on the Ile de la Citée, then Ile St Louis, and the Arsenale for the exhibition of Paris planning.

13.30 hrs lunch at a cheap café

15.00 Bassin Stalingrad  (Bernard Huet) and Cour du Maroc (Michel Corajoud a new €13million park or 2007-8).

16.00 Parc de la Villette, (Bernard Tschumi with structural design by Peter Rice, theme garden design by various landscape architects including Alexandre Chermetoff) until dusk to see the lighting (by Philippe Starck/ Patrick Bouchain and Louis Clair as lighting engineer)

Free evening Pariscop is the Paris Time Out for clubs and restaurants for your evening activity: for cheap student restaurants is rue Oberkampf, east of Ave de la République.

10.00 Saturday 20   November meet at metro Oberkampf entry, Jardin de ZAC Tage Kellerman by Latitude Nord (Laurence Vacherot, & Gilles Vexlard) completed c.1990: a ZAC is a Zone d’Aménagement Concertée. Then to Musée du Quai de Branly (2006) architect Jean Nouvel, with landscape garden by Gilles Clément and vertical green wall by Patrick Blanc, the  botanist.

11.00 Sunday 21  November  promenade via Boulevard Richard Lenoir (by Bernard Huet) and its Sunday Market, (maybe buy picnic: if not then eat in cafés at Parc de Bercy), Place de la Bastille and New Opéra, Viaduc Plantée / Promenade  de la Bastille (Jacques Vergeley and Philippe Mathieux 1989-) to Parc de Rueilly (Thierry Louf/ François X Mousquet/ Philippe Thomas 1991)  (if warm and fine) and Parc de Bercy (FFL+ Bernard Huet opened  1997), then cross the Seine to the Bibliothèque Nationale.


9.00 hrs Monday 22  November at metro Oberkampf entry, after breakfast, and after stowing baggage and  paying hotel  for the day’s departure to avoid delay

10.00 hrs  Parc Citröen Cévennes, Gilles Clément and Allain Provost as paysagistes and Patrick Berger, Jean François Jodry and Jean-Paul Viguier.


suggestions are,  Musée d’Orsay, Eiffel Tower, Versailles, or La Défense and Parc Diderot, good landscape bookshops are Maison Rustique, rue Jacob and the Monuments Historique shop in the Jeu de Paume In the Tuileries, just by Etoile.

18.00                                                   check in by 17.45 for c.18.43 calls Ashford 19,36  arrives  St Pancras 20.06 – does not call at Ebbsfleet, (nb luggage can be left at hotel leave hotel by 17.00hrs, not secure so don’t leave valuables, if really  worried take bags to Gard du Nord before the 9am hotel, rendez-vous and leave at the left luggage at the Eurostar side of the concourse)

These visits are aimed to amplify the Hard and Soft Landscape lectures and also the Planting Design course. We are enthusiasts for mastic asphalt, coordinated paving, 1930s French brickwork and polychromatic bricks and faience, and flexible paving: we are not so enthusiastic for monospecific block planting, top grafting and unthinking use of heavy clay topsoil on newly constructed sites. We are keen on the way the French do invest in public infrastructure including parks, gardens, and new tramways and the Vélib cycle hire system.

cut off and  return to Ronke Bali. School Finance Officer (keep the above for contacts)


I wish to go on the Cert.LD Paris trip 18-22 November 2010

Enclosed is a cheque for  £120  (non refundable Eurostar group  travel only plus Insurance plus university staff travel expenses, excludes hotel costs)  nb cheques may be post-dated to 10 October, 2010 made out to “University of Greenwich” Note if travelling independently then cheque for £30 to cover staff expenses. NB payment can be made by credit card via Ms Ronke Bali at the School

name: forename………………………..…………….surname……………………………….Mr/Ms/Miss/Mrs

under 26 on 20 Nov.…… address…………………………………………………….…………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………post code……………

tel no. (+mobile)…………………………………………..email …………………..…………………………..

next of kin/contact name  (for insurance purposes)………………………………..………………………..

next of kin tel. no……………………….  date of birth (for visa application support letter)……………..

passport no. (for a visa support letter only)………………………………………………………………..

I am arranging my own travel as well as accommodation and therefore attach £30 cheque……………………………………

Note numbers on this trip are limited so book early.


­To make trip reservation hand to Robert Holden with cheque, or hand in for Ronke Bali at the Architecture School, university travel insurance is included. Places are limited to c. 25 first come first served and there is a contribution to staff costs.


olden, and in vie

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1. Anne Kennedy - February 23, 2012

FAO R Holden
Hi, I was wondering whether this course is offered via Distance Learning for 2012/13 and who best to contact re applications etc.
Thx and rgds
Anne Kennedy

× seven = 49