logocolour bestWelcome to the Birkbeck Garden History Group web site. The group is interested in studying garden history through lectures, garden visits and exhibitions and in encouraging others to become interested in the subject of garden history. Click on the links along the top of the page to find out more about the BGHG and our activities. Click ‘Follow’ at the bottom of this page on the right to receive alerts when new items are posted.

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This site will no longer be updated. Please visit our new website https://birkbeckgardenhistory.org.uk/

where you will find all our usual pages – about Birkbeck Garden History Group, its Constitution, Privacy Notice, Committee members, activities, etc.; details of Lectures & Talks, courses – short and long; our own publications as well as New Books, our new Browse the Bookshelf pages, and useful links to other garden history-related organisations.

PLEASE NOTE that some aspects of the new website – e.g. Subscriptions and Members’ Area are not yet fully operational. BGHG Members will be notified later in January about what the new site will offer and how to access the Members’ Area.

We wish all our readers a Happy New Year!

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December 2021 Update

Further lectures on topics including botanists, plantswomen, illustrators and estate workers have been added to our BGHG LECTURE CALENDAR 2021-2022_Edition 4 DEC 2021

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November 2021 Update

A number of online lectures have been added to our LECTURES CALENDAR 2021-2022 Edition 3. New series from The Gardens Trust include Georgian Gardens and The Life and Work of John Bradby Blake: both series will last 6 weeks.  Newly added sources include Cardiff Confucius Institute, Bucks History Festival, The Georgian Group, FOLAR, Hampshire Gardens Trust, The Garden Museum, and Willesden History Society.  Amongst the topics they will cover are: Eleanor  Coade, Wentworth Woodhouse, Traditional Chinese Gardens, The Festival of Britain, Gladstone Park, and Stowe. For full details download our BGHG LECTURE CALENDAR 2021-2022 Edition 3 – NOV 2021

The Birkbeck Garden History Group Annual Winter Lecture will take place IN PERSON at our usual venue for this event: The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in Bloomsbury, on 12 November 2021 at 18.30.

Dr Brent Elliott, former Librarian, then Historian, at the Royal Horticultural Society, will talk on The Return of the Victorian Garden. He has written extensively on the history of gardens, botany, and botanical art, concentrating on the 19th century.

This Event is open to both BGHG members and non-members. PLEASE NOTE that BOOKING IN ADVANCE IS ESSENTIAL. Bookings can be made up to 12 noon on Friday, 12 November.

For fuller details and to book visit Eventbrite

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October Update III


City Garden Walks are offering 6 walks during October, as follows:

Historic Gardens of the City of London: Saturdays, 23 October & 30 October 2021 from 13.30 -15.00

Further details and to book

Gardens of Legal London (Inns of Court): Fridays, 22 October & 29 October 2021 from, 11.30 -13.30

Further details and to book 

Modern Gardens of the City of London: Sundays, 24 October & 31 October 2021 from 13.30 -10.30

Further details and to book

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October Update II

The second edition of our BGHG LECTURE CALENDAR 2021-2022_Edition 2updated has been updated with the addition of a lecture, on 14 October, from the V&A by garden historian John Phibbs on Humphry Repton: Designing the Landscape Garden, timed to mark the publication of his book of the same name. 

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October 2021 Update

The second edition of the BGHG LECTURE CALENDAR 2021-2022 Edition_2 is now available. This new edition includes two new series from The Gardens Trust: Garden Archaeology (6 lectures) and Japanese Gardens (7 lectures), both starting this month; and new lectures from the Oxfordshire Gardens Trust: on indoor pot plants; and birds in our gardens and landscapes from Roman times. 

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September 2021 Update

Our readers who thought that the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in July meant an end to lectures via Zoom will see that evidence is very much to the contrary. Our latest Lectures Calendar which in this new edition covers a period from September 2021 to April 2022 contains over 80 lectures from more than 12 different organisations, some familiar, some possibly less so. Topics range far and wide and include Roman Gardens, Commercial Gardening, Plant Nurseries, Norfolk Gardens, 20th Century Iconic Landscapes, Tree talks, Plant Hunters & Pioneers, ‘Conversations Across Continents’, Geoffrey Jellicoe, Humphry Repton, Capability Brown, William Stukeley, Sylvia Crowe and many others. 

Full details can be found in the BGHG LECTURES CALENDAR 2021-2022 Edition_1

As well as lectures there are several upcoming walks – both actual and virtual.

DENMAN COLLEGE: The Gardens of London’s Square Mile – 23 September @ 11.00

This walk, led by Letta Jones, will explore some of the City of London’s gardens including the gardens of St Pauls Cathedral, Christchurch Greyfriars, Postman’s Park, and the Herb Garden of the ​Barber Surgeons Hall.  Others may be included if time permits. 

To book place visit Denmans

UK TOURS ONLINE: Exploring London’s ‘lungs’: the open spaces of the capital – Thursday 16 September 18.00 -19.30 

Join Blue Badge Guide Rachel ‘to learn more about London’s greenery. From Royal Parks and botanic gardens to common land and nature reserves, find out about the stories behind these places of floral wonder. Meet the people who ensured they would be around for generations to enjoy and get to know the plants and animals that call these places home. There will be some surprising tales along the way and plenty of inspiration to get out and enjoy London in a different way.’

To book visit Eventbrite

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June II Update

Four new lectures – from The Gardens Trust and Denman College have been added to our LECTURE CALENDAR 2021xi  From the Gardens Trust three talks focusing on gardens in Northeast Britain form their seventh Unforgettable Gardens series; whilst Denman are offering a talk on Hampton Court Palace and its gardens

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June 2021 Update

New information added this month includes: the tenth edition of our LECTURE CALENDAR 2021x where you will find talks from the Institute of Historical Research and Gardens Trust ongoing series as well as a sixth series of Unforgettable Gardens from the Gardens Trust in partnership with the Historic Gardens Foundation. 

On our Garden History Studies pages you will find information on a varied range of topics from University of Cambridge Botanic Garden;  Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education, including their Virtual Summer Festival 2021; Oxford Department of Continuing Education; and The Garden Historians

On the Publications page recently published garden-history related books include a book on London Parks and the newly published Twickenhamshire: A Riverside Realm of Gardens and Villas in the Age of Enlightenment, co-authored by BGHG member Chris Sumner and our President, Michael Symes.

Our Future BGHG Events page has been amended to show the cancellation of the potential visit to Pugin’s Trail in Ramsgate (we hope to run this in 2022 instead). 

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May Update

Our Lectures Calendar has again been updated and now shows lectures available online up to the end of June 2021.  See LECTURE CALENDAR 2021ix

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