We know how much our members, like many others, enjoy visiting the nation’s stately homes, not just for their architecture, but also for their often delightful gardens and it is with this in mind that we offer our October talk which comes highly recommended!
Timothy Mowl's career has included work as a freelance Architectural Historian; an Inspector of Historic Buildings for English Heritage; an Architectural Consultant and Journalist in Bath; and Lecturer and Writer on architecture, conservation, historic landscapes and gardens.
Professor Mowl joined the University of Bristol in 1992 after a period working as an Inspector of Historic Buildings for English Heritage, an advisor to the Bath Preservation Trust and an architectural critic, writer and consultant. He first taught art and architectural history in the Department of History of Art becoming Reader in Architectural and Garden History in 2003. In 2005 he moved to the Department of Archaeology & Anthropology, setting up the Institute for Garden and Landscape History in the following year. He is now Emeritus Professor of History of Architecture and Designed Landscapes at Bristol and was until recently the Director of its MA in Garden History, which he ran from its inception in 2000. He is also a Professorial Research Fellow in the Humanities Research Institute at Buckingham University for whom he directs an MA in Garden History by research.
The gardens of the Regency period in particular are characterized by exuberant formal parterres, jewelled island beds of graduated flowers, frothy basket-work borders, shrubberies laced with flowers and over-arching trellises covered with rambling roses, jasmine and clematis; while the lawns, enamelled with spring bulbs, are enlivened with elegant vases, strewn with Chinese barrels for casual alfresco seating, cut with oval reflecting pools backed by specimen trees and dramatized by deep-delved grottoes and garden buildings in every conceivable style from Turkish to Indian. Each pleasure ground had its meshed aviary and pheasantry, there were fountains with writhing dolphins, rustic garden seats, thatched and pebble-floored, Swiss-style bridges, greenhouses and conservatories overflowing with exotics. These flowery paradises were readily accessed from the house via ground-length sash windows, tree-trunked verandahs entwined with climbers and conservatories arcing out from the house into the garden. By day they were ablaze with colour and by night, lit by coloured lamps hanging from the trellises and the trees, they sparkled and glittered.
The approaching twin anniversaries of the deaths of Jane Austen, in 1817, and Humphry Repton, in 1818, have galvanised Professor Mowl into preparing a treatment on the gardens of the Regency period. It is hoped that the book will appear in late 2017 or early 2018 entitled All around is Fairy Ground - Pleasure and the Regency Garden to coincide with an exhibition on Repton.
Join us for what we are sure will be an informative and interesting talk and have a complimentary drink with us afterwards while chatting to other members of the Society.
You can find out more about Professor Mowl and details of the books he has written on his website: www.timothymowl.com