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Letchworth Garden City

317 of 1170 nominations

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Letchworth Garden City

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Letchworth Garden City

"The best of the town and the best of the country", Letchworth was the world's first garden city, established in a very English way (ie. the personal crusade of a single, mildly eccentric person, Ebenezer Howard, and not government), a reflection of a rather English take on utopian socialism, and also an example of an idea that the British government subsequently gave up on... having totally mucked it up (ie. the garden city's ugly cousin, the New Town movement). Letchworth was an idea way ahead of its time - a fully self-sufficient community with the land owned in common that has given us so much of English urban and suburban life that we now take for granted, from roundabouts to green belts, from homes-with-gardens (front and back) to industrial estates (separate from the housing). It was green and environmentally friendly long before the idea gained a name (only one tree had to be felled to build the entire town). But above all, and despite the impact it has had, it remains a modest (ah - such an English word!) little town on the edge of London's commuter belt. Letchworth is a model of England, and an icon of England.

John Birch

NOMINATION 317 OF 1170

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My favourite Icon of England has to be the Cornish Pasty.

Ian Baldry

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