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Home » News » Rowley’s Lunchtime Lectures continue with ‘A Miniature Kew’
John Coakley Lettsom (1733-1810) with his family, in the garden of Grove Hill, Camberwell, c. 1786, from the Wellcome Library, London

Rowley’s Lunchtime Lectures continue with ‘A Miniature Kew’

A lecture at University Centre Shrewsbury will explore the royal influences on a private London garden owned by one of the city’s highest paid medical practitioners in the late 18th century and why medical men were fascinated with botany and agriculture in the period.

People are invited to hear the talk ‘A Miniature Kew: Dr Lettsom’s Garden in Camberwell’ at Rowley’s House in Shrewsbury town centre on Wednesday 1st June.

Dr Clare Hickman will present the lecture from 1pm to 2.15pm, as part of a series of Rowley’s Lunchtime Lectures on stately homes taking place this spring.

John Coakley Lettsom, as one of the top-earning medical practitioners in London in the 1770s, created a garden at Grove Hill in Camberwell, where he combined agricultural and astronomical interests within an ornamental landscape.

Dr Hickman said: “Similar features could be found in the gardens of Kew and Windsor, developed by King George III at the same time, which begs the question of how and why Lettsom was influenced by royal trends?

“This will also open up an exploration of how Lettsom’s private garden became part of a wider network of botanical and agricultural landscapes and why medical men were so keen on botany and agriculture at this time.”

Dr Hickman is a historian with an interest in the connections between landscape design and medical practice.

Currently a lecturer in History at the University of Chester, she has published works on subjects including hospital gardens and has shared her expertise on Channel 4’s Restoration Man.

The series of stately homes lectures will be rounded off on Wednesday 8th June with a talk on ‘Bling, Booze and Groupie Sex - Presenting Byron’s Newstead’, also being held from 1pm to 2.15pm at Rowley’s House.

To book places for the lectures email [email protected] or call 01743 297185.

Alternatively, people can visit the information point at Guildhall at Frankwell Quay (SY3 8HQ) which is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 9am to 4pm on Fridays or Rowley’s House at Barker Street (SY1 1QH) on Wednesdays between 11am and 2pm.

For further details on UCS events go to the University Centre Shrewsbury website.