Today we start a new regular feature on RIBA Blogs. From over 70,000 images available on RIBApix, curator Fiona Orsini has selected a drawing by Oliver Hill…

Garden design for Moor Close, Binfield, Berkshire

Moor Close, Binfield, Berkshire, 1911
Architect: Oliver Hill
© RIBA, British Architectural Library

The gardens at Moor Close are a hidden gem of the Arts & Crafts period. In 1911, millionaire Charles Birch Crisp asked the then unknown architect Oliver Hill to enlarge the existing house and create new gardens featuring curved staircases, pergolas and pavilions. Inspired by the Italianate water gardens of the 16th century, this sketch captures the garden’s elegance which includes a private swimming pool. Unfortunately the gardens fell into disrepair after Crisp ran into financial difficulties and the property was bought by Newbold College. Through renewed interest in Hill’s work, the house and gardens are now listed and are currently being restored.

Fiona Orsini
Curator, RIBA Library Drawings and Archives Collections

About Wilson Yau
I work for the British Architectural Library at the RIBA as part of a team to share news, images and information online about the activities of the Library and the fascinating items we have in our architectural collections – it contains over four million items, so there's plenty to see! If you’re curious about what we do at the Library and with the collections, or want to discover the latest about our education programmes, public events and exhibitions at the RIBA, please visit

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