The grove, a grouping of trees, intentionally cultivated or found growing wild, has a long diverse history entwined with human settlement, rural practices and the culture and politics of cities. A grove can be a memorial, a place of learning, a site of poetic retreat and philosophy or political encampment, a public park or theatre, a place of hidden pleasures, a symbol of a vanished forest ecology, or a place of gods or other spirits. Yet groves are largely absent from our contemporary vocabulary and rarely included in today’s landscape practice, whether urban or rural. Groves are both literal and metaphorical manifestations, ways of defining spaces and ecologies in our cultural life. Since they can add meaning to urban forms and ecologies and contribute meaningfully to the significance of place, critical examination is long overdue. The editors have taken care to ensure that the text is accessible to the general reader as well as specialists.

chapter |12 pages


chapter 1|21 pages

The sacred places of the immortal ones

Ancient Greek and Roman sacred groves

chapter 2|20 pages

Seeing the wood for the trees

The long-term aesthetics of woodland in England

chapter 3|13 pages

The sacredness of groves

chapter 5|16 pages

Colourful groves

The origins of the woodland garden

chapter 7|16 pages

Sacred groves in African contexts (Benin, Cameroon)

Insights from history and anthropology

chapter 9|17 pages

Korean village groves

chapter 12|11 pages

Dan Kiley

Groves, space and complexity