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Waterlow Park Guide

Waterlow Park Tree Walk

Waterlow Park Quiz


Waterlow Park book cover

‘Waterlow Park, a garden for the gardenless’
by Pam Cooper.

The land, the  people, their houses and gardens,
especially the Lauderdale House terraced garden,
from earliest times;

from 1889, the public park, its historic trees,
the park restoration of 2005

Author’s comments
This book is of interest to people not only who know and love Waterlow Park, but also those interested in the history of gardens, parks and landscapes.

Author’s bio
The author is by profession a technical translator of European languages. She is a graduate in the Conservation of Historic Landscapes, Parks and Gardens (Architectural Association), 1992. From 1999 to 2002 she chaired the Friends of Waterlow Park and the Waterlow Park Action Group, the latter formed in response to proposals to restore the park during that period.

Table of contents

  • Foreword by Peter Barber
  • Introduction
  • Acknowledgements
  • Description of the park
  • Geology
  • The development of Highgate and early Highgate gardens
  • The future Waterlow Park in the 16th century
  • Lauderdale House and the terraced garden c. 1580-1871
  • The other houses –
  • Andrew Marvell’s, Elms Court, Hertford House, Fairseat
  • Sydney Waterlow’s estate
  • The gift of a ‘garden for the gardenless’
  • From private estate to public park
  • The rise and fall of Waterlow Park 1891-1991
  • The Heritage Lottery Fund award
  • The trees
  • Appendix I The ecology
  • Appendix II Status of Waterlow Park in the 21st century
  • References
  • Illustration credits
  • Bibliography
  • Index of names  (94 words)

Review highlights:

Camden New Journal, 15 March 2007.
by Dan Carrier.

In a new book which charts its history, a wonderful story of a selfless gift to the people of Camden is revealed.

Garden historian Pam Cooper …was the chairwoman of the Friends of Waterlow Park.
.. her history of Waterlow Park (is) complete with lavish pictures, illustrations and maps….

Buzz, the magazine of the Highgate Society, Spring 2007.

Waterlow Park, A garden for the gardenless
Review by Marius Reynolds on Pam Cooper’s new book

The book is based on painstaking study of a long list of primary sources and other research material. Pam Cooper describes the park, its structures and its trees and planting vividly and engagingly. 

In the introduction, Peter Barber (Keeper of Maps at the British Library) describes the book as the key to understanding and enjoying Waterlow Park and its links to vanished houses and gardens; and to parks in Liverpool, to forts on the Thames and old gardens in Wales.

…(it) is beautifully laid out with many memorable photographs in black and white and in colour.  Amongst the illustrations are bird’s eye view drawings specially prepared for the book by Oliver Cox, showing the gardens of Lauderdale House c. 1690 compared with them in 1872... Another innovative feature is a chapter on the trees of the park, locating and identifying them with illustrations in context and enlargements of leaves for easy recognition.

The book is a welcome addition to those about Highgate which readers of Buzz (apart from the wider public) will want to add to their collections.

Camden History Society Newsletter, January 2007.

Another feature of Camden that has recently been refurbished is Waterlow Park. To mark this has come a splendid ….A4 format book by Pam Cooper, full of colour and illustrations, very nicely designed and printed.  

Ham and High, December 28 2006

A new literary tribute to one of London’s most popular parks ….
Pam Cooper ………has packed years of research into her new book ‘Waterlow Park, a garden for the gardenless’.


local bookshops, incl. Highgate, Owl, Waterstones (Camden) and Lauderdale House.
Also the British Library, Guildhall and RIBA bookshops

ISBN 978095544007
Published October 2006