Much has been written about the history of Victorian life, the Industrial Revolution and the improvements brought about by the great reformers, including the many improvements to recreation and leisure. Public parks were one such introduction and many were laid out from the 1850s onwards and up until the beginning of the Second World War. Joseph Paxton is the most famous of our park designers, along with J. C. Loudon, James Pennethorne, and Thomas Mawson. We know very little of many of these great park designers, and especially the most notable municipal and borough designers such as Sexby, Sandys-Winsch and Pettigrew. These individuals designed some of our greatest parks, in our greatest cities – from Victoria Park and Battersea Park in London, to our much admired royal parks, to Philips Park in Manchester, and the wonderful parks of Norwich, Liverpool, Cardiff and beyond. This book fills in the gaps surrounding these great servants of the public. Included are biographies and histories of Joseph Paxton, James Pennethorne, Edward Milner, John Nash, Decimus Burton, Robert Marnock, William Barron, J. C. Loudon, J. J. Sexby, William Pettigrew, Captain Sandys-Winsch, John Gibson and Thomas H. Mawson. This is an essential read for anybody interested in the great designers of our greatest parks.
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