Trusted Source Workshop


Calling all researchers interested in Gothic, Gothic Revival, garden history, patronage and commission, architectural history, memory and mourning, and historical detective work…

The National Trust’s garden at Stowe, Buckinghamshire, is currently the focus of a significant restoration programme which seeks to return the landscape to its former glory while gaining a better understanding its meaning and history. Part of this project includes the rebuilding and interpretation of the Gothic Cross, one of the last and most puzzling additions to the garden which was destroyed in the mid-twentieth century.

The aim of this workshop is firstly to introduce Oxford researchers to Stowe and the Gothic Cross project, and secondly to explore opportunities for research and collaboration with the National Trust. Findings will be used to create new and engaging interpretation on the Gothic Cross for use by the Trust’s staff and Stowe’s visitors, both onsite and online.

An introduction to the history of the Gothic Cross will be given by the National Trust’s National Specialist in Garden History, Richard Wheeler, followed by an open discussion to explore research questions and themes that relate to this unusual monument.

Research & Collaboration Opportunities:

1.       Historically reliable primary-source images and accounts are required to physically rebuild the Gothic Cross. Although the National Trust has copies of various of sources, these lack provenance and often differ from one another. We therefore seek researchers interested in historical detective work to source reliable accounts for use by the National Trust’s restoration team physically rebuilding the cross.

2.       We are commissioning short text entries (c.300 words) related to the Gothic Cross for Trusted Source, an online knowledge bank of academically robust interpretative resources created by Oxford University researchers for use by National Trust staff and visitors.

We are looking for Oxford University colleagues with related interests and expertise from a range of disciplines. Researchers keen to work with Britain’s largest heritage organisation on research-based public engagement and knowledge exchange projects are encouraged to attend.

Click here to view the event poster.

Workshop places are free, however please email if you would like to attend. Tea and coffee will be provided, but please feel free to bring your own lunch.

For more information on Trusted Source, visit