Autumn Lecture by Richard Wheeler, Saturday 19th November 2011
Over 45 members and guests were treated to a stimulating lecture given by Richard Wheeler, the National Specialist in Garden History for the National Trust at St. Stephen’s Church Centre, Upper Basildon. The lecture was inspired by a classical quotation “Geniumque loci … prectur” or “They consulted the spirit of the place” and considered the garden as an emotive thing that demands an emotive response.
We were very lucky to have such a distinguished Garden History speaker, who gave us a veritable ‘tour de force’ of the range of National Trust properties in England and Wales, as the Trust’s first speaker from further afield. Richard’s lecture was illustrated with examples ranging from the romantic ‘Jacobitism’ of the gardens at Chastleton, Oxfordshire and the heavy handed symbolism at Stowe, Buckinghamshire to the re-creation of ancient and classical times through symbolic features and themes featuring in pre-war English gardens like Sissinghurst, Kent. The lecture resulted in several interesting questions and several of us have made a mental note to visit some of the NT and other properties mentioned, especially in Wales!