Architect, Town Planner, Landscape Architect and Art Collector

Sir Frederick Gibberd CBE, RA, FRIBA, MTPI, FILA, was an Architect, Town Planner and Landscape Architect. He undertook 94 major projects during his career and a number of his buildings are listed.

He was knighted in 1967 for services to architecture.

His projects included Liverpool Catholic Cathedral, Heathrow Airport terminals 1, 2 and 3, the Central Mosque in Regents Park and the buildings for three power stations (Hinkley Point, Didcot and Sizewell A). He also landscaped three reservoirs, including Kielder.

In 1946 he was appointed master-planner for Harlow New Town and his original plan for the town is regarded by many as his greatest achievement.

He was passionate about art and accumulated a magnificent collection of modern British watercolours and drawings. During his lifetime he donated over forty works to Harlow Council and these are displayed in the Gibberd Gallery in the town centre.

Listen to Sir Frederick Gibberd’s
1983 Desert Island Discs interview

Devoted to Harlow

Sir Frederick was totally committed to Harlow and its people. He bought the site in Marsh Lane in 1957, in order to make a landscaped garden. Initially the house was used as a weekend home, but after his wife died in 1970 he moved here permanently and remained until his death in 1984.

He remarried in 1972 and his second wife had contacts with a number of sculptors. During their twelve-year marriage Sir Frederick and Lady Gibberd bought or commissioned many sculptures, which were sited in the garden.

In his will Sir Frederick left his house, garden, sculptures and art collection to Harlow Council for the benefit of the people of Harlow. Unfortunately, after a ten-year long dispute over the will, the art collection had to be sold to defray legal costs. The house, garden and sculptures were also put up for sale, but a local group was formed and with the aid of National Lottery funding was able to buy them. They are now owned by the Gibberd Garden Trust.