Garden and Architectural Historian
Researcher, Writer and Lecturer
Ann Benson is a writer and lecturer on Garden and Architectural History specializing in the Tudor and Stuart periods within the United Kingdom. She has degrees in: Learning and Assessment (Ph.D, The Open University and M.Ed., University of Wales); Garden History (M.A., Distinction, University of Bristol); Science (B.Sc. Hons., University of London). Ann was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 2015. She was made an Associate of the Institute for the Study of Welsh Estates in 2016, and was awarded a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship in 2018. In 2019 Ann was made a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and in 2020, a Beaufort Visiting Scholar at St John’s College, University of Cambridge.
After an academic career in science education at the universities of Oxford, Bristol, and the Open University and serving as a consultant on assessment for the U.K.’s Cabinet Office and the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), Ann decided to focus on her love of historical research. She attended archaeological, garden and architectural history courses at Bristol University (awarded M.A. with Distinction in 2012).
Ann has since published two research-based history books and several peer-reviewed articles on garden and architectural history. A History of Coton Manor and its Garden was published in 2015; this book was reprinted in 2018 to meet on-going sales. Her research on the Welsh homes of the Dukes of Beaufort was published in 2017 (Troy House: a Tudor estate across time) and was endorsed by Professor Maurice Howard and Dr Paula Henderson.
Ann’s current research is on the designed landscape history of the medieval and Tudor colleges of the University of Cambridge, and for which she was awarded Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship funding. She conducts this research alongside lecturing for the Arts Society (previously NADFAS), leading tours, and private commissions for researching and recreating historic gardens.