The Landscape Guide

*Hunting Park -1500 

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Use: When the area of land taken into cultivation became significant, kings began to yearn for places where wild plants and animals could live - and be hunted. This happened first in the ‘land between the two rivers’ (Mesopotamia) and in Persia. Hunting parks were the preserve of kings and nobles and could be used to teach young men the arts of riding horses and driving chariots. The ancient hunting park can be regarded as the origin of the park as a place to take exercise and appreciate nature. National parks and nature reserves are their equivalent in the modern world.

Form: No physical examples survive from the ancient world but there are relief sculptures and written records. Large rectangular walled enclosures were used to make collections of exotic plants and animals. Physical examples survive from medieval and renaissance Europe. A varied topography of woods, water, grassland and hills was desirable. Boundaries are likely to have been made with mud brick, rubble stone or timber, depending on local circumstances.