Wellington College is a thriving and successful coeducational private school in Berkshire with an international reputation; the need for new facilities to meet that success is a continuing challenge. Liz Lake Associates was appointed by the College to understand the historic landscape and then to help develop a strategy that would inform decisions on the siting of new development on this historic site.
Archival and field work undertaken by Debois Landscape Survey Group revealed that the College was developed on a grid based on rides across former heathland. This was emphasized by the planting of double avenues of oaks, monkey puzzles and Wellingtonias as well as extensive woodland areas that provide a magnificent setting for the school buildings today. Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, took a great interest in the development of the school and he influenced many aspects of how the estate was developed including extensive lakes and sports fields. Serpentines were overlaid over the grid by the well-known Victorian landscape designer, William Nesfield, with boarding houses added set in wooded glades and cottages gardens. Sports and cultural facilities have created another layer. The different historic landscape typologies were identified and the landscape setting of the twenty six listed buildings was assessed.
The heritage survey work and analysis were drawn together and policies developed to highlight the key aspects of the heritage landscape. The College is now using this work to inform their decisions on where new development should be located.