Mr. Aislabie’s Gardens

Mr. Aislabie’s Gardens


1981. A4 book, 28 pp., 37 illustrations (with 4 pp. insert exh. cat.)

The inaugural publication of the New Arcadian imprint was published to mark the exhibition, Mr Aislabie’s Gardens at Bradford’s Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, that brought together historical and contemporary material about Studley Royal, Hackfall and Kirkby Fleetham

Editor: Patrick Eyres

In addition to the text and imagery about the Aislabies’ gardens, the book is unique for publishing in full The Monteviot Proposal (1979), which is a seminal work by Ian Hamilton Finlay




Harvey Dwight, Ian Gardner, Andrew Griffiths, Grahame Jones, Caroline Nix (maps), Ian Hamilton Finlay (with Nicholas Sloan), John Tetley, and the two historical reproductions: Sir Godfrey Kneller, portrait of John Aislabie, c.1720 (Title page); Anthony Walker, ‘At Studley’, detail, engraving, 1758 (Cover)


  • ~ Patrick Eyres. Preface, and Notes to maps of Studley, Hackfall and Kirkby.
  • ~ Edward Lucie-Smith. Introduction.
  • ~ John Walker. Studley Royal, 1716-81 (the Aislabies’ careers, tastes and landscape design).
  • ~ Jim Hingston. The Trees in John Aislabie’s Garden (planting strategies at Studley before and after acquisition by the Aislabies).
  • ~ Patrick Eyres. Nike Hercules, the ‘Hedgehog’ Garden (a prose-poem as New Arcadian manifesto, in response to Georgian political gardening).
  • ~ Ian Hamilton Finlay (with Nicholas Sloan). The Monteviot Proposal, 1979. The complete version of this seminal work, which has proved to be a nursery of ideas for the poet’s subsequent landscape proposals.