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With a rich history dating back to the viking age and beyond, this woodland became the site of the Northwood Society in 1839 - England’s official faery sanctuary. Professor H.J Howland, with his extensive knowledge and passion for preserving the arcane world, lead this project; and cultivated parts of the woodland into garden habitats perfect for supporting the variety of creatures found at Northwood. In its golden age, Northwood Society had connections with the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood, Arthur Rackham, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and, most importantly of all, the New England Transcendentalists - a group of free thinkers lead by prominent American abolitionist, poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson.
After the disappearance of Professor Howland in 1891, the Society struggled to maintain funding, which only worsened after the first world war. Unfortunately England’s Faery Sanctuary could not be maintained, and in 1932 it was disbanded completely. 
In 2009, attention turned to revival, and in 2012 the first successful programme was begun, with introducing rescued freshwater mermaids into the sanctuary with Northwood’s native population.
In 2019, England’s Faery Sanctuary was once again opened to the public, and the process of restoring the gardens back to their original glory is an ongoing one. Every day is one of recovering, repairing and revealing lost artefacts and hidden gems. These neglected gardens were once dubbed ‘the garden of dreams’ by victorian visitors, and thus - in honour of what once was and what we hope will be again - The Dreamery Gardens was born.

“In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life, no disgrace, no calamity, which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground, my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God.”  

 - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Harvey John Howland was born in 1802 in Toronto, Canada, to a Canadian father and American mother. He was named after John Howland, his ancestor, an English indentured servant who travelled to the new world on the Mayflower, and who settled and found great prosperity in Massachusetts. Though his strain of the Howland family was now Canadian, perhaps his father wanted to reconnect with his lineage, because he relocated his wife and an adolescent Harvey to Massachusetts in 1816.
Harvey J. Howland was exceedingly bright and took a keen interest in the natural world around him. He started attending Harvard University (also in Cambridge, Massachusetts) in 1822 and took classes in philosophy, sciences, classics and mathematics. In 1832 Howland became a tenured professor of the natural sciences at Harvard, and married that same year. Not long after this was when the Transcendental Club formed in Cambridge, and Howland was immediately drawn to their ideas, even attending a few meetings. Having been raised a devout Quaker, many transcendental ideas resonated with him, such as the idea that God exists in everyone, and the belief in the spiritual equality of men and women. The Transcendentalists, like the Quakers, were firm abolitionists and pro women’s rights. In particular, their belief in the divinity of nature would become a philosophy that Howland’s life and legacy would be defined by. 
He visited England in 1837 as part of his research into folk tales and myth, and, stunned by the number of legends that centred Northwood, decided here would be the best place to conduct his research and build his faery sanctuary. This quiet and unassuming man completely innovated the field of arcane study, and his work continues to have a profound impact on how we perceive the arcane world today.
Howland had a single daughter, Beatrice, who made her own significant impact on the field of arcane natural history, despite living to only 25 years old.

Rarely have I seen lovliness in control and order. All the beauty I know on the Earth comes from the wild places: from the rambling flowers to the tangled trees, on savage moors, in soaring skies and the raging sea.

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