The Care & Conservation of Shared Georgian Gardens

The Care & Conservation of Shared Georgian Gardens


This year marks the 250th anniversary of the founding of Edinburgh’s Georgian New Town, and the publication of John Byrom’s much-awaited manual on the gardens that are so integral to this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The book is the result of decades of research, providing detailed guidance on the long term management and maintenance of Edinburgh’s 47 circus, square, crescent and informal grid-edge gardens that has remained previously unpublished.

These gardens are very special, specifically designed to add colour and vibrancy to the city’s urban landscape – lush green contrasts to the classical sandstone architecture. They not only contribute aesthetically to Edinburgh’s ‘outstanding universal value’, they are also communal spaces, looked after and enjoyed by the residents of the surrounding buildings.


It is an essential item for garden management committees, but the book has a wider purpose to inform an interested public and academic readership beyond Edinburgh. John has been providing advice and support on garden landscapes for many years, and with the publication of this book, his research and advice is available in perpetuity. In fact, the need for a publication of this type to be made publicly available was first identified over 30 years ago.


Edinburgh World Heritage Trust, an independent charity with the aim of ensuring the city’s World Heritage status is a dynamic force that benefits everyone, has provided funding for this publication, along with Edinburgh Decorative & Fine Arts Society. We are looking for support from the public to help us with the contribution.  

The book is being published by The Word Bank, a not-for-profit community-focused venture. As such, John will receive no payment or royalties, and should sales of the book exceed anticipated numbers and generate a profit, these funds will be ploughed straight back to support the community of Edinburgh, via The Word Bank and the Edinburgh Old Town Development Trust.

The author

John Byrom is a landscape architect and former Director of the Masters in Landscape Architecture at the University of Edinburgh. In the 1960s, John was commissioned to appraise the condition of Edinburgh’s New Town Gardens by the Civic Trust and was part of the survey which led to the creation of the Edinburgh New Town Conservation Committee. The work also became the basis of his late wife, Connie Byrom’s book The Edinburgh New Town Gardens (Birlinn, 1995).

He was subsequently commissioned by Edinburgh World Heritage Trust to produce a handbook in response to a perceived need for professional advice on their appropriate maintenance and replanting of the New Town gardens. The project was overseen by a steering group chaired by Professor David Ingram, former Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Further details are available here:

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Job Vacancy

Job Vacancy

Assistant Secretary 

The Georgian Group

The national charity for the preservation of Georgian buildings and landscapes is seeking an Assistant Secretary to help support the administration of the Group. Applicants should be able to demonstrate knowledge of, or clear interest in, Georgian architecture and will have strong administrative experience, ideally within the charity sector.

Reporting to the Secretary, the postholder will provide support to the organisation on administrative tasks and on undertaking the practical management of key annual events and activities. Please see the job description for further details.

The post is full-time (9.30am-5.30pm, Monday-Friday, but some overnight travel and evening/weekend working will be required) and is based at its central London headquarters. The starting salary is £30k pa + (subject to experience).

To apply, please email a CV and covering letter to David McKinstry, Secretary of The Georgian Group, at Please put ‘Assistant Secretary Position’ in the subject heading. Applications will be treated in strict confidence. Please include details of two referees and let us know if it is appropriate to contact them at this time. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Tuesday 31st October 2017.

Interviews will be held in London in mid-November 2017 with second interviews taking place shortly afterwards, if necessary. The starting date is Monday 8th January 2018. If you wish to discuss the post informally before applying, please contact David McKinstry on

We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age.

Registered Charity Number 209934

Job Description

Reporting to the Secretary, the postholder will:

  • Provide general administrative support to the Secretary, deputising as directed and where appropriate, with the aim of maximising the charity’s reach and effectiveness in the areas of heritage protection and education.
  • Handle trustee liaison over committee meetings/admin; co-ordinating paperwork for board meetings, AGMs, EGMs etc. The Assistant Secretary will also be responsible for ensuring that at least one member of GG staff attends every relevant committee meeting
  • Attend all board meetings and take minutes
  • Oversee day-to-day administration of the Georgian Group, including:
  1. Running a staff diary so as to track and optimize staff activity and to ensure that internal room bookings are co-ordinated with external bookings in a timely manner
  2. Providing the Group’s HR function, including oversight of staff contracts, job descriptions and training requirements, booking and record-keeping of annual leave, and co-ordinating annual appraisals
  3. Responsibility for the co-ordination of the GG’s Health & Safety policy, including scheduling relevant meetings
  • Act as managing editor for the charity’s bi-annual magazine: supervising article commissioning, copy chasing, picture sourcing, copy editing, managing liaison with designer and printer; and reporting throughout to the Secretary as Editor
  • Manage the charity’s annual Architectural Awards: administering the entry and judging processes, liaising with sponsor(s), booking guest speakers/presenters as required, booking the venue, help meet publicity deadlines etc. Again, all reporting to the Secretary
  • Help to co-ordinate the Secretary’s diary, to optimize use of the Secretary’s time; supporting the Secretary with email and correspondence management and with any other tasks as they may arise
  • Help to manage the Georgian Group’s online and social media presence

Person specification. 
The successful candidate will:

  • Have demonstrable knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, Georgian buildings and landscapes, and of the threats and challenges facing them
  • Have experience of organisational and financial management, ideally in the charity/conservation sector
  • Be a strong team player and negotiator with excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Be able to facilitate, maintain and manage good working relationships between staff, volunteers, trustees, and external partners

Terms of employment (subject to contract)

This is a full-time, permanent post based at the Georgian Group office in central 
Starting remuneration is £30,000pa+ (subject to experience) with 25 days paid holiday a year plus public holidays. 
There is a probationary period of six months. Performance is evaluated annually. Some overnight travel and evening/weekend working will be required

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Applications Invited for  The Georgian Group/BSECS Dunscombe Colt Research Fellowship at the Bodleian Library

Applications Invited for The Georgian Group/BSECS Dunscombe Colt Research Fellowship at the Bodleian Library

The award, jointly funded by the Georgian Group and the British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies, is intended to facilitate a one-month research visit by a member of The Georgian Group to the Special Collections of the Bodleian Library in the University of Oxford. Applications will be considered from candidates seeking to research projects relating to the architecture or material culture (for example, sculpture) of the long eighteenth century (1660-1840). The award (£1,500) is part-funded from the proceeds of the bequest from Mrs Armida Dunscombe Colt and is named in her honour.

Eligibility for the award Members of The Georgian Group and BSECS in good standing at the time of application may apply. 

Non-EEA applicants are reminded that to take up fellowships they must hold an appropriate visa.


Fellowships must be taken up in the 2018 calendar year.

Recipients are expected to be in residence in Oxford for one month and are encouraged to take part in the activities of the University of Oxford.

How to apply

Applicants are asked to submit the following items by 27th January 2018:

An application form, with details of what to include, which may be found on the Bodleian Libraries Visiting Fellowships webpage:

Previous holders of the Fellowship:

2014 PETER LINDFIELD, School of Art History, University of St Andrews and Kunsthochschule, University of Kassel. Gothic Histories and Buildings of the Long Eighteenth Century 

2015 DAVID MCKINSTRY, Kellogg College, University of Oxford. Interpreting Urban Italy: English Responses to Post-Antique Architecture in the Early 19th Century

2016 CAROLINE STANFORD, Historian and Head of Engagement, The Landmark Trust, London. Before Coade: The Origins of Artificial Stone in the Long Eighteenth Century.

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Corporate annual membership
Individual annual membership
Individual life membership
Joint annual membership

Our Aims and Purpose

The Georgian Group is the national charity dedicated to preserving Georgian buildings and gardens. We were founded in 1937.  

We aim to protect historic buildings through providing advice to owners and architects, campaigning, and through our role as statutory consultees in the planning system. Our annual awards promote excellence in design and conservation. In its casework, the Georgian Group advises councils, church bodies, and others on threats to the historic fabric and setting of structures built between 1700 and 1840.

The Group organises lectures and other events aimed at improving the understanding of aspects of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century built heritage.  We also produce technical advice leaflets, and promote the publication of academic research through our journal.