Thames Luminaries: Chiswick House, William Kent, and the birth of the English Landscape Movement

3 Feb 2021
7:00 pm

The Thames brought commerce and wealth to South West London, attracting royalty, aristocrats, artists, writers and wealthy property owners. The legacy of these luminaries is an area exceptionally rich in heritage buildings, gardens and landscapes. Pope’s Grotto Preservation Trust and English Heritage’s Marble Hill have organised a series of nine free virtual talks over three weeks beginning on Wednesday 27th January.  Experts will explore, explain and offer insight about a luminary and their landscape, property
and land.

The English Landscape Movement has influenced gardens across the globe. Developed by William Kent with Lord Burlington, the English Landscape Movement broke down the rigid formality of the early 18th century garden to create a natural landscape. Today, the House and Gardens exist in harmony, each enhancing each other’s beauty. This talk will explore the origins of movement, and how the landscape we see at Chiswick today came to be.

This talk will be given by John Watkins who leads the English Heritage Garden and Landscape team in their work with historians, landscape architects, botanists and ecologists. He has worked on many major garden and landscape projects, including Chiswick House and Gardens, Eltham Palace, Wrest Park, and Kenilworth Castle. In 1999 he led the Contemporary Heritage Gardens project, incorporating the work of six contemporary designers at English Heritage sites.

Admission to this talk is free but but we encourage you to make a £5 donation for each talk, if you are able, which will be divided equally between the nine participating organisations. More about the talk and the speaker can be found here and you can book your place at TicketSource.

The talk will start at 7 pm and last for approximately 20 minutes with time being allowed for questions and answers at the end. The event will end at or before 8 pm. It will be delivered using Zoom so you will need a computer or tablet with the Zoom program/app on it. You will be sent a link by email shortly before the lecture begins and you should follow this link at the appropriate time to join the audience. If you haven't used Zoom before, you will be prompted to download the appropriate software as soon as you try to join. 

This event is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

(A section of the 1736 engraving of the garden by John Rocque)

Presented by Pope's Grotto Preservation Trust