Innovative landscape designer to be honoured for Elvaston gardens
THE 19th-century landscape gardener who created the gardens at Elvaston Castle is to have a blue plaque unveiled in his honour.
William Barron joins a long list of Derbyshire greats who have received the commemoration in recent years.
Others include Rolls-Royce founder Sir Henry Royce, Chatsworth's world-famous former head gardener, Sir Joseph Paxton, and Cromford Mill's Richard Arkwright.
A public vote decides which names receive the honour.
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The plaque to commemorate Barron's innovative and creative contribution to garden design will be unveiled at his former home in Nottingham Road, Borrowash, on November 30.
Andrew Lewer, the leader of Derbyshire County Council, who will unveil the plaque, said: "This is the fourth blue plaque we have put up this year to celebrate the important people and places of Derbyshire. William Barron was a virtual unknown until he was asked to create a new garden at Elvaston Castle.
"Using revolutionary techniques and creative flair, Barron transformed a flat, marshy wasteland into a magnificent country park that is deserving of its grade two listed status.
"This blue plaque serves as a just and timely reminder of Barron's important contribution to his craft and to the county of Derbyshire which was his adopted home for over 60 years."
After leaving Elvaston Castle, Barron built a successful business in Borrowash from where he sold plants and offered tree transplanting and landscape gardening services. The firm provided a number of jobs for local people and it continued to thrive as a family business until the inter-war years.
Barron was nominated by Rosemary Woodhouse and Margaret Barker, of the Ockbrook and Borrowash Heritage Society.
Mrs Woodhouse said she was thrilled the public had voted for Barron to be honoured with a blue plaque.
She said: "I am very pleased that William Barron was a popular choice for a blue plaque this year.
"Hopefully his contribution to Elvaston Castle and Borrowash will be recognised more widely now."
Mrs Barker added: "I am delighted that so many people knew of Barron and his link to Derbyshire. His techniques combined the quirky with the beautiful. He was a true artist in every sense of the word."
Derby City Council recently launched its own blue plaque scheme, which was first set up in London.