Garden History Studies

GARDEN HISTORY encapsulates a fascinating amalgam of art, architectural, landscape, social, literary and horticultural history as well as archaeology and the evolution of garden design. The Birkbeck Garden History Group (BGHG) wants to encourage the study of garden history by introducing the subject to people who have not been involved in it previously, although they may have an interest in one or more of the disciplines mentioned above.


Following the success of the ‘taster’ study days we launched in 2015 to encourage new students into the field of garden history, we supported some new six-week introductory courses run by The Garden History Grapevine at the Institute of Historical Research in Bloomsbury, which is the world’s leading centre for research into all aspects of History, and which runs the country’s only MA course in Garden History.

There is a growing diversity of garden history courses, lectures and study days available  to suit most interests. These include:

The Garden History Grapevine – a new initiative which is running a varied and developing programme of garden history courses with the support of The Gardens Trust. It is hoped that working with colleagues from the National Trust, Historic England, the Royal Horticultural Society and other partners that garden history courses will once again be available nationally rather than just in London.

GH Grapevine course tutors are Letta Jones, M.A., Stephen Smith, M.A. and Dr David Marsh and they invite visiting lecturers to contribute where appropriate. Courses are based in the Institute for Historical Research, in Senate House, the HQ of the University of London in Bloomsbury. Classes are small, usually with a maximum size of 16, and have lively illustrated lectures, opportunities for discussion and further personal reading and research suggestions if you wish.

For queries consult Eventbrite links on the relevant page or contact

City Literary Institute – an adult education provider based in Covent Garden, London

Cambridge University Department of Continuing Education

Oxford of University Department of Continuing Education

Denman College, Oxfordshire

The Garden Historians – based in Hampstead, London

Courses run by all these bodies can be found on our Short Garden History Courses AND/ OR our Longer Garden History Courses pages. Other providers may also be featured from time to time as information becomes available.

The Gardens Trust Lecture Series – these take place mainly during the winter months in London, Birmingham and a growing number of other cities

London Parks & Gardens Trust – monthly lectures October – April at a central London venue

History of Gardens and Landscapes seminars – held during university terms at the Institute of Historical Research (IHR), University of London

The Garden Museum, London – Talks and Panel discussions held periodically throughout the year

Details of the above can be found on our Garden History Lectures & Talks page, along with other providers from time to time