Council's 'delight' as dazzling garden in Stockwood Discovery Centre recognised by Historic England

A dazzling garden in Stockwood Discovery centre has been officially recognised as a site of importance by Historic England.

Friday, 21st August 2020, 12:35 pm
Updated Friday, 21st August 2020, 12:38 pm

The Culture Trust and Luton Borough Council are celebrating the decision to classify 'The Improvement Garden' as a site of Special Historic Interest in England.

The Improvement Garden was commissioned by the council in 1986 and was created by controversial sculptor and landscaper Ian Hamilton Finlay.

Finlay is widely considered one of the most adventurous garden designer of the post-war era in Britain, and The Improvement Garden is a landmark of his career.

The Improvement Garden

Cllr Paul Castleman, portfolio holder for place and infrastructure, said: "We are delighted that the council’s ambition over 30 years ago in commissioning The Improvement Garden has been recognised through this prestigious award national award.

"I hope as many people as possible will take the opportunity to visit and enjoy it.”

Originally commissioned by Luton Borough Council in 1986, the garden was seen as an ambitious and far-sighted commission from an urban local authority during the mid-1980s.

The inspiration for the sculptures and gardens range from Greek mythology and Roman architecture, to the grand landscape gardens of the 18th century and the lost mansion and garden of Stockwood Park itself.

Karen Perkins, director of culture at The Culture Trust Luton, added: "We are proud to have this iconic garden here in Luton and free to visit.

"We will continue to preserve the site for future generations of Lutonians and look forward to welcoming new visitors to enjoy their beauty "