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Bjerler, Karolina, 2011. Handen bakom Vegeholms engelska park - en studie av parken och dess uppkomst . Second cycle, A2E. Alnarp: SLU, Landscape Architecture (until 121231)



A boom in horticulture characterized the 18th century in Sweden and Skåne. Parks and gardens were gradually built out to become, at the end of the 18th century, large and comfortable facilities which responded to European parks. During the late 1700s the new fashion came to Sweden. In Sweden it was named “the English style” which directly refers to the English expression “Romantic style”. At this time the parks had formal shapes, which now were to be erased for the benefit of the forms of nature. The philosophical romantic thoughts and expressions, was what shaped the new fashion of garden art.

In Sweden, the plants of the new style were named English parks. They came, however, to differ slightly from those found in the rest of Europe. In Sweden they often kept the old more formal parts of the gardens, and introduced the new facilities alongside the old ones. This was partly due to the economic and agrarian situation, which in Sweden was different from the one in England. The economy in Sweden was harsh and we had not progressed as far in our agrarian development, as was the case in England.

Sometime between 1778 and 1810, a large English park was built at the Vegeholm estate. The glory days of the park where few. After only about 100 years it started to overgrow and became in the late 1900s basically forgotten. My study of this park has beside a review of material relating to the park, also come to include a review of the fashion, the influences and the human situation during the 1700s. It has also been necessary to make a retrospect of other garden historical events at Vegeholm.

This historical review includes many influential families and interesting impacts of landscape-architecture in southern Sweden. There are several descriptions of the parks and gardens at Vegeholm, which has given me insight to its development. The park had its golden age during the 1700s as the family Cedercrantz, after the reduction in the 1600s when the plant was in poor condition, began to expand and improve its parts. During the early 1700’s, the whole property flourished owing to the days of liberty. This fact, along with a strong commitment from the owners of the estate, made the garden one of the finest in southern Sweden during this time. Isaac Cedercrantz built the linden-lined avenues, a star-site and formal gardens around the castle. In addition, there was a large orchard, a tree nursery together with hops for own use, and mulberry trees for silkworms. The interest in the garden was handed down trough generations during the 18th century, and Isaac’s children eventually came to build the English park in direct connection to the existing park and garden facilities.

The English Park at Vegeholm is contemporary with other English parks in southern Sweden, of which it is spoken warmly for in literature. Maltesholm and Övedskloster are two examples, which are close at hand to compare with. Much has been written about them, and these two are also interesting in a national context. They have in several ways been described, as the most beautiful Sweden had to offer during this period, of course, in addition to the royal estates. A comparison with the facilities at Maltesholm and Övedskloster has been made in this study, and this gives an idea of what the English park at Vegeholm once might have been.

The path system of the park is somewhat original in its form, although in general it is similar to several other more or less known pathways from the same time. The dominant star-site is a key point in the park with major and minor paths emanating from it. Several of the major paths is linden-lined and curved instead of winding. The smaller trails are more of a winding nature, and remind more of the typical form that trails in, what we today associate with a romantic park, have. No built elements have been found in this park, nor seen at any of the maps or even came across in literature. When speaking of the vegetation, there are no clear answers as to how it was located or what it contained. There are some plants, which probably are remains of the ones in the park. Examples of these are ivy and Japanese knotweed. When it comes to trees and the species they consisted of, we know a lot more. Oak and beech was dominant and has probably existed on the site for several generations.

To the vast majority, the park has been unknown until recent years. This has probably to do with the fact that it’s today not regarded as part of the garden area, but is more related to the forest area. But there are still remnants left. It’s the part that’s situated south of the castle and during the early 1900s was cause to the Danish architect IP Andersen’s efforts to renew the garden and park at Vegeholm.

The issue of identifying the creator of Vegeholm English park is of great interest and one of the main issues in this work. The park reveals qualities, which seems to be overpowering an amateur. The material found suggests that it was designed by someone with far more knowledge than could be expected of an amateur. Swedish architects with demonstrated knowledge to make layout for English parks, were very few during this time. According to my sources, even fewer have been active in southern Sweden. Whatever the material tells us, one can not exclude that it was an amateurs work, for example made by the owner or the gardener at that time.

Through studies of literature and historical records, an important foundation has been put out about the park’s contents and existence. Varying results of these studies has emerged. Like pieces of a jigsaw-puzzle, the information found has gradually built an image of the park which is hereby presented. The purpose to gain a deeper knowledge, both in the context of the gardens of 17th and 18th century Sweden, and to learn more about the great art of searching for information which is needed, has therefore been fulfilled.

The issues related to the English park and it’s background have been many. The goal of identifying its existence and who that may have been behind it, are important issues in a larger perspective. Very few people know anything about the park’s former existence, and to relate the garden to a context of other Scanian facilities of this kind, have been part of the undertaking.

Main title:Handen bakom Vegeholms engelska park - en studie av parken och dess uppkomst
Authors:Bjerler, Karolina
Series:Självständigt arbete vid LTJ-fakulteten, SLU
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2011
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:LY002 Landscape Architecture Programme, Alnarp 300 HEC
Supervising department:(LTJ, LTV) > Landscape Architecture (until 121231)
Keywords:Vegeholm, landskapspark, trädgårdskonst, familjen Cedercrantz, 1700-talet, engelsk park
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Landscape architecture
Deposited On:24 May 2011 06:40
Metadata Last Modified:20 Apr 2012 14:19

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