Page under permanent development

This is a rambling trip through some of the names and places associated with related early 20thC Town planning , significant persons of the time who had artistic and political influence on the planners and architects , links to stories about pioneers and early businesses in Letchworth

Robert Owen (1771-1858), Industrialist, Social reformer & Socialist at New Lanark , Scotland (1817)

Col Edward Ackroyd created early model villages to house his employees at Copley 1849-1853 and Ackroyden 1859

Sir Titus Salt (1803-1876) Businessman, public servant & philanthropist created Saltaire 1853-1863 in West Yorkshire, a mid-Victorian industrial village built by Sir Titus Salt at the site of his Alpaca Wool spinning and weaving mill.

W H Lever (1851-1925) with a social conscience coupled with an enthusiasm for architecture,art and town planning - created his own vision in Port Sunlight 1890

George Cadbury (1839-1922) A Quaker, created a model village for his employees at Bourneville Village

find the story of cadbury/bourneville village

Bedford Park, London 1875 often referred to as the first garden suburb. A development intended for the middle classes

Joseph Rowntree (1836-1925) was a Quaker and a successful businessman. New Earswick 1902, begun by Raymond Unwin and Barry Parker features many of the ideas that they were to develop in the later work at Letchworth and Hampstead Garden Suburb. Look at their website to see how involved they still are in trying to improve standards and address the issues of poverty.

Seebohm Rowntree

Letchworth Garden City (This Site)
See the Tour for examples of Architecture and information
Ebenezer Howard see this site

Thomas Adams

Raymond Unwin 1863-1940 see this site

Barry Parker 1867-1947 see this site

C M Crickmer 1879-1971

Cecil Hignett 1879-1960

Robert Bennett 1878-1956

Wilson Bidwell 1877-1954

Geoffry Lucas 1872-1947

Many of this group were involved in the house competion at Gidea Park (now part of Havering)

Henrietta Barnet Hampstead Garden Suburb 1851-1936

Welwyn Garden City

Brentham Garden Suburb initialy Ealing Tenants Ltd 1901-1906 then Raymond Unwin took over as architect

A few other relevant/related Architects of the era

Richard Norman Shaw

Charles Voysey

W R Lethaby

Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott

Some influential characters / organisations with Social and Political views relevant to planning and design

John Ruskin (1819-1900)

A Prolific writer on art and architecture who became interested in the state of humanity and social reform at about the age of 40. In one of his writings "Sesame & Lillies" described his sociological ideas which in places anticipate the ideals of the garden city movement. Ebenezer Howard quoted from this work at the beginning of chapter one of his work Garden Cities of Tomorrow

There is a lot of reference material relating to Ruskin here

some links underlined this section

(Sir) William Morris (1834-1896)

During his days at Exeter College Morris began a life long friendship with (Sir) Edward Burne-Jones.(1833-1898) a painter who was a pupil of the painter poet Rossetti.

The Pre-Raphaelites Movement was formed in 1848 by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Holman Hunt and Millais.

They were a group of artists and poets who broke away from the conventional attitude toward most of the art of the day. Seeking inspiration in a simpler more realistic approach to both art and literature.

They were much praised by Ruskin, Burne-Jones and Morris who joined the Pre-Raphaelites. Morris tried his hand at poetry, architecture and painting. In 1859 he married Jane Burden (who had modelled for him) and decided to build his own home

The Red House

Setting up his home, a true lover of beauty, he wanted to furnish it in his taste, not the clumsy overdecorated style that was the fashion, so he started to design his own.

Morris, Burne-Jones and Rossetti founded an establishment for making artistic household furniture, curtains, rugs , tapestries, wall-papers and stained glass.

More links relating to his business and his role as Father figure of the Arts and Crafts Movement

Morris with the eye of an artist and the skill of a master artisan threw himself into this venture, and through his efforts managed to stimulate a national interest in, and love of beautiful design and proper manufacture in every-day things. A revolution which displaced the mid Victorian style of furniture and decoration. There by earning the reputation of being the father of the Arts and Crafts Movements.

Later became more concerned about the state of society and he became an active socialist.

News from Nowhere

A sample from News from Nowhere

He was a founder member of the socialist league

Edward Bellamy - The man whose writing

(Looking Backward)

inspired Ebenezer Howard to action

George Bernard Shaw who influenced/was involved with several of the people listed above

James S. Buckingham National Evils and Practical Remedies. PLAN OF THE MODEL TOWN

George Adams (1857-1910) a friend of Edward Carpenter and Raymond Unwin had been a craftsman and sandal maker at Millthorpe and moved to early Letchworth

Search Cornell University for articles on Urban Planning


The day-to-day chronicles of the genesis of the Garden City

Stories from the archives of the Letchworth Garden City Society


Any opinions expressed above are personal opinions of the the author of this site, all facts are as accurate as the various sources I have used. Please verify independently if it's important for your work . I have no connection to any official organisation or authority