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DateLecture
10 March 2020A Concise History of our Great British Public Parks
14 April 2020Islamic Art: Exploring the Decorative Arts of the Islamic World
12 May 2020An Easy Day for a Lady: The Dress of Early Women Mountaineers 1850-1914
09 June 2020'Debo' - Mitford, Cavendish, Devonshire, Duchess and Housewife 1920-2014
14 July 2020Signs, Signals and Iconography: The Hidden Stories in Art

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A Concise History of our Great British Public Parks Paul Rabbitts Tuesday 10 March 2020

This really is a fascinating insight into the history of one of our greatest ever institutions - our Great British Public Park. We have all enjoyed them at some time in our lives but what do we really know about them? What are their origins? This talk illustrates their origins from the great Royal Parks to the Pleasure Gardens of the eighteenth century, to their Victorian heyday. It discusses what makes a great park, it’s ‘parkitecture’ with examples of lodges, lakes, bandstands, fountains, lidos, palm houses and to their wonderful floral displays, to their great decline in the sixties, seventies and eighties. However, the subsequent revival has led to a major shift in interest in our parks and once again we are very much in love with them. This is a highly illustrative lecture accompanied by slides with examples of parks from across the UK and their designs and architecture and can be shaped to the locality of the lecture.

Paul Rabbitts

Paul graduated at Sheffield with a BA Honours in Geography followed by a Masters Degree in Landscape Architecture at Edinburgh. He is a qualified landscape architect and park manager, and has worked for several local authorities across the UK. He is a passionate advocate for public parks and in particular the Victorian and Edwardian bandstand, and is a prolific author on the subject. His first of 14 books were published in 2011 on the iconic bandstand and was followed rapidly by books on the Royal Parks, our Great British Parks and most recently on ‘Parkitecture’, as well as some of our greatest park designers. He is now working on a biography of Sir Christopher Wren.

Now a UK leading expert on bandstands he has been asked to assist in localised restoration projects nationwide and has been a regular and popular speaker on bandstands and public parks for many years.