Author Event and Book Signing: The Most Glorious Prospect: Garden Visiting in Wales 1639-1900

Saturday 21 April 

Join author Bettina Harden and Tom Lloyd, OBE, FSA, for a fascinating discussion about the history of garden visiting in Wales in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, concentrating on the history of Picton Castle and other gardens in Pembrokeshire.

The Most Glorious Prospect reveals the historic gardens of Wales as first experienced by contemporary visitors during the 17th and 18th centuries. Returning to a bygone era of garden visiting and touring, and brought to life from travellers’ diaries, letters and journals of the period, readers can explore the history and tradition of ‘garden visiting’ during 1639-1900 and the beginnings of Welsh tourism.

Brilliantly documented and delightfully humorous, this account describes how the great gardens of Wales were first made accessible to the ‘polite world’ before being opened to a wider, middle-class audience. The book offers a new insight into the social history of the period, with the upper classes following in the tradition of ‘The Grand Tour
of Europe’ and basing their routes around the spectacularly designed landscapes The Tour inspired. The popularity of garden visiting gave rise to a number of articles, books and guides – the foundation to future tourism in Wales.

Generously illustrated with over 200 period paintings, engravings and drawings, this first edition hardback features work from some of the most important collections of British art, many published for the first time.

‘Bettina Harden has scoured nearly three hundred years of garden and landscape writing to forge these colourful and comprehensive surveys of the greatest sixteen gardens and parks in Wales which she sets before us here. This book is a culmination of that desire to share and of half a lifetime’s research.’ Thomas Lloyd OBE, FSA  Author of The Lost Houses of Wales

‘We should never forget that gardens are about people, those makers who created them with such ambition and determination, and the writers whose sharp curiosity helped form our opinions of them. Bettina Harden writes about these people with a sense of fun and effortless scholarship, to produce a compelling picture of Welsh historic
gardens…History is rarely so readable.’ Stephen Anderton, The Times

Bettina Harden spent her working life as a publisher, specialising in books on art, architecture and design. Now a historic garden owner with a passion for garden history, she was Chair of the Welsh Historic Gardens Trust from 1997-2003. She is also the founder and Chair of Trustees of The Gateway Gardens Trust, the first charity devoted
to extending access to heritage through social inclusion. She gained her MA in Garden History from the University of Buckingham in 2014

11.00 am – 12.30 pm

In The Great Hall of the Castle

Refreshments Served from 10.30 am

Tickets:  £5.00 (This can be redeemed against the purchase of the book on the day: £30.00) 

To Book:  Call 01437 751326 or email info@pictoncastle.co.uk

Tickets will also be available on the day

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