Posts by Katy-L-J

Channel 4: Prince Albert – A Victorian Hero Revealed

As part of a season commemorating the bicentenary of Victoria and Albert’s births, Prince Albert: A Victorian Hero Revealed explores Albert’s interest in political reform, education, architecture and design. Dr. Katy Layton-Jones discusses his inspirational designs for housing the poor and industrial classes. Channel 4 on Saturday 24th August 2019. Spun Gold TV for Channel 4                   ‘Pick of the Day’, The Guardian        ‘Critic’s Choice’, The Times     ‘What to Watch’, The Telegraph                              
Read More

‘Edward Kemp’s Liverpool parks’

‘How to Lay Out a Very Large Garden Indeed: Edward Kemp’s Liverpool parks, their history and legacy’ Garden History, 46: supplement 1 Autumn 2018 In 1850, in the wake of two severe cholera epidemics, the Liverpool Improvement Committee advertised for plans for the laying out of new public parks across the city. In 1865, the Liverpool Improvement Act finally enabled the corporation to raise the five hundred thousand pounds needed to realize its ambitious vision. Edward Kemp was to be a key figure in the resultant ‘ribbon of parks’. As the designer of both Newsham and Stanley Parks, his style and
Read More

Heritage Debate Online

‘Heritage Debate Online’ is produced by Historic England. They are pages where conservation and heritage experts debate the topics uppermost in their minds. In October 2018, Historic England published an online debate focusing on public parks and issues surrounding their preservation and value. Katy Layton-Jones’ contribution is titled ‘The Enduring Benefit of a Victorian Legacy’ and can be viewed online for free here.
Read More

Gardens Trust Conference

‘Celebration or Compensation? The urban context of public parks’.  Gardens Trust Conference 2018 University of Birmingham.  1-2 September, 2018 The urban parks of the nineteenth century have been described by Hazel Conway as ‘isolated elements, lungs and oases of green, which contrasted with their urban surroundings’. At the time of their creation, parks certainly provided a spatial interruption to the sprawl of blackened terraces, chimneys and alleyways. However, public parks were never purely bucolic fantasies. Rather, they were complex environments that simultaneously celebrated and compensated for the towns and cities they occupied. Even though the creation of public parks was
Read More

‘Manufactured Landscapes’

‘Manufactured Landscapes: Victorian public parks and the industrial imagination’ in Malcolm Dick and Elaine Mitchell (eds), Gardens and Green Spaces in the West Midlands since 1700 (2018), pp. 120-137. Written by distinguished scholars who are also writing for a wide audience, these essays highlight the wealth of recent research into landscape and green spaces in the West Midlands. The book ranges from the Picturesque movement in Herefordshire to William Shenstone’s unique ferme ornée at The Leasowes, near Halesowen and the aspirational gardens and allotments of the Quaker ironmasters at Coalbrookdale in Shropshire. Other contributions celebrate women’s entrepreneurial activity in the nursery trade, chart the
Read More

‘Uncertain Prospects’

Uncertain prospects: public parks in the new age of austerity The Gardens Trust (2016) In July 2016, the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Select Committee announced a new inquiry into the state of public parks. The Gardens Trust submitted a memorandum, prepared by Dr. Katy Layton-Jones, who was then called as an expert witness to appear on behalf of the Trust. In November 2016, Uncertain Prospects was published, celebrating the parks renaissance which has been achieved since 1993, but warning of the desperate future many now face as a result of local authority spending cuts.  The effect of these varies widely between
Read More

‘History of Public Park Funding and Management’

      History of Public Park Funding and Management (1820 – 2010) In 2015 Historic England commissioned Dr Katy Layton-Jones to provide an overview of past public park funding models, and their management as in looking for new funding solutions  to help us understand why funding issues have arisen. Her report shows a long history of funding problems, but also the important role of local authorities in developing, and often rescuing parks, and delivering public parks for all over 170 years. The new research report was been included as part of Historic England’s submission to the House of Commons Communities
Read More

‘The Common Story’

Tooting Common Historical Research Project In early 2015 I was appointed Historical Consultant on ‘The Common Story’ project. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, ‘The Common Story’ is a historical research and toolkit project for Tooting Common. It is part of the Tooting Common Heritage Project,  which aims to explore, restore, conserve and enhance the cultural and natural heritage of Tooting Common. To this end, ‘The Common Story’ is working in partnership with local community groups to research the social, topographical, architectural, and environmental history of the Common. Research strands include: Dr. Johnson and his association with the Common, Tooting Bec Lido, historical biodiversity,
Read More

‘National Review of Research Priorities for Parks’

This substantial review and the resulting report by Dr Katy Layton-Jones was commissioned by English Heritage and hosted by Park Roots CiC, Birkenhead Park, Wirral. The project brought together a range of consultees from Natural England, Green Space Scotland, GreenSpace, Historic Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund,  local authorities, CiCs, universities, and trusts. The final report informed the National Heritage Protection Plan (NHPP) in 2015. Download the report here Extract from the executive summary: ‘In the fields of urban planning and landscape design, there are few areas in which Britain has made so significant an international contribution than urban parks and public open
Read More

Lancelot Capability Brown

‘Capability Brown: Landscapes in Line and Ink’ An online exhibition with Cambridge University Library, curated by Katy Layton-Jones Born to a yeoman farmer and estate steward in a small village in Northumberland, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown (1716–1783) remains one of the most influential figures in British garden history. Brown’s vision was to have a dramatic effect, not only on the particular estates he shaped, but upon the perception and reception of British topography in general. His work can be seen in some of the finest country estates and his principles of comfort and elegance were to influence landscapes as diverse as
Read More