• Care in the countryside: the theory and practice of therapeutic landscapes in the early twentieth-century

      Hickman, Clare; University of Chester (University of Hertfordshire Press, 2018-05-01)
      In 1945 Jane Whitney, when writing her biography of Geraldine Cadbury visited the Cropwood Open-Air School in Blackwell and described how ‘the sleep-time garden might be the envy of princes, with its fountain in the midst of a green lawn, so that the children took their naps amid the soothing, somnolent plash of falling water’. This evocative description of a princely garden gives an indication of the attention and importance given to gardens associated with such institutions in the early decades of the twentieth-century (Figure 8.1). Cropwood (opened in 1922) was just one of a number of open-air schools and hospitals operating at this time in Blackwell, near Bromsgrove, in the West Midlands. The open-air approach to treating chronic diseases such as tuberculosis became popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century in Britain. It encouraged inmates to spend as much time as possible in the fresh air and sunshine, as both were considered to have curative properties. The 1937 Ordnance Survey (OS) Map depicts a cluster of such institutions - along with Cropwood these were: Hunters Hill Open-Air School (opened 1933), The Uplands (Children’s Convalescent Home, opened 1923), Burcot Grange (annexe to Birmingham and Midland Eye Hospital, opened 1936) and the Birmingham and Midland Counties Sanatorium, which became known as the Blackwell Convalescent Home (opened on this site in 1873) (Figure 8.2, 8.3). This chapter will explore this cluster but focus in detail on the gardens associated with Cropwood and the Blackwell Convalescent Home. In particular it will aim to unpick the design and use of these gardens in relation to contemporary medical and social ideas. In so doing, it will illuminate the connections between garden history and histories of health care, which is a growing research area. Historians that have explored this connection in relation to designed green spaces include myself and Sarah Rutherford. Medical historians, particularly Andrew Scull and Linda Bryder, have discussed the hospital landscape in relation to issues such as economics and national efficiency. Similarly, cultural geographers have taken an interest in the concept of ‘therapeutic landscapes’, including the work of Chris Philo on asylums, Hester Parr on mental health and space, and Wil Gesler, who originally coined the term.
    • Curiosity and Instruction: British and Irish Botanic Gardens and their Audiences, 1760–1800

      Hickman, Clare; University of Chester (White Horse Press, 2018-02-01)
      The physic garden, associated with medical institutions and predominantly for the purpose of training medical students, or for the growing of commercial drugs by apothecaries, was transformed across Europe in the late-eighteenth century. New botanic gardens were created that were organised for the benefit of new audiences extending beyond medical students to those interested in botanical science, agricultural improvements and seeing at first-hand new botanic introductions from around the globe.
    • The garden as a laboratory: the role of domestic gardens as places of scientific exploration in the long 18th century

      Hickman, Clare; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2014-06-24)
      Eighteenth-century gardens have traditionally been viewed as spaces designed for leisure, and as representations of political status, power and taste. In contrast, this paper will explore the concept that gardens in this period could be seen as dynamic spaces where scientific experiment and medical practice could occur. Two examples have been explored in the pilot study which has led to this paper — the designed landscapes associated with John Hunter’s Earl’s Court residence, in London, and the garden at Edward Jenner’s house in Berkeley, Gloucestershire. Garden history methodologies have been implemented in order to consider the extent to which these domestic gardens can be viewed as experimental spaces.