Catton Park, looking towards Norwich

June 22, 2012, by Lucy

A day in the life of a geographer… Lucy Veale

My main event this week was a trip to Norwich for the workshop ‘Bringing Landscape to Life: Humphry Repton and Environmental Change’ at UEA. This was one of the main outputs of the project I am currently working on.

The event began on Monday afternoon with a visit to Catton Park which is located just north of the city of Norwich. Sarah Spooner (a consultant on our project) kindly led a very informative and well-researched walk around the park on what was a lovely sunny evening (see photo). Catton was the landscape gardener Humphry Repton’s first paid commission in 1788. The Park at that time was owned by Jeremiah Ives, a Norwich merchant and mayor of the city.

Catton Park


The workshop itself took place on Tuesday and was aimed at a wide-ranging group of researchers, managers, curators, interpreters, owners and appreciators of designed landscapes. We managed to bring together around 25 people for the event, through a shared interest in Humphry Repton and designed landscapes more broadly. Stephen and I began the day by giving a short introduction to the project and particularly to our planned exhibition at Sheringham Park in Norfolk. Plans are moving along quickly for this and over the last few weeks I have been busy gathering images, music and ideas, and writing text for the different elements. We had a meeting with our exhibition designers in Norwich on Monday too where it was great to see some preliminary sketches of how the Visitor Centre barn will be transformed!

Design for exhibition - Repton's study

Keynote papers were delivered by David Adshead (National Trust’s Head Curator) and Jonathan Finch (Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of York), with the rest of the day taken up with panel discussions on the following themes; aesthetics of landscape, relationships with a wider world and public, the fragility of designed landscapes, and finally issues of restoration. My next task is to decipher my notes from the day and to write up a summary of the event for everyone who participated. A number of the discussion points have already prompted Steve and I to rethink the exhibition content, particularly in terms of Sheringham Park’s connections to the wider world of 1812 (the year of Repton’s design). Thank you to Paul Warde at UEA for organising the day which I really enjoyed.


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