Humphrey Waterfield Archive Now Fully Catalogued 

  • 21 July 2023

We are delighted to announce that the Humphrey Waterfield Archive is now fully catalogued, and descriptions are searchable online.

Derick Humphrey Waterfield (1908–1971) was a British landscape gardener and artist. Educated at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford, he later studied at Ruskin College and the Slade School of Art. From the mid-1930s he created a six-acre landscape garden called Hill Pasture in Essex, where he also had a studio and house, designed by Ernö Goldfinger, built on the site. As a conscientious objector, he joined a Quaker voluntary ambulance unit and was deployed in Finland, Africa, the Middle East and, lastly, France. His parents died in 1940 and after the war he designed and laid out the garden of their house, Clos du Peyronnet, in the south of France.

The archive contains travel journals, notebooks and sketchbooks created by Waterfield between 1927 and 1970; as well as correspondence, photographs, postcards and an exhibition pamphlet. The material details Waterfield’s wartime experiences with a volunteer ambulance unit, as well as visits to France, Ireland and South America. The items complement material in the Giles Waterfield Archive, which provides a rich resource for the study of garden history.

The archive also contains a small volume of correspondence belonging to Humphrey’s great grandfather, Thomas Nelson Waterfield (1799–1862), an employee of the Indian Board of Control. The letters date from 1848–1857 and were written exclusively by F.F. Courtenay, Private Secretary to the Governor-General, Lord Dalhousie, and provide a record of life in British India under the rule of the East India Company.

The collection was kindly donated to the centre in 2019 by William Waterfield. The cataloguing was completed as a result of the Centre’s engagement with initiatives to support and develop early career professionals. Natasha Tebbs, a student on the UCL Archive and Records Management MA and Hannah Jones, Paul Mellon Centre Archives & Library Assistant (Graduate Trainee) worked in tandem on this project.

The Nigel Surry Archive catalogue was also recently completed in the same vein: by Rosalind Henderson, a student on the UCL Archive & Records Management MA.

If you would like to consult the Waterfield or Surry Archives, or any of the collections at the Centre, please make an appointment or send an enquiry.