The Picturesque Garden in England

Course details

From £159.00

Fri 31 May 2019 - Sun 02 Jun 2019

The Picturesque Garden in England


Held in association with The Gardens Trust

The ‘Picturesque Garden’ is one of England’s most distinctive contributions to garden history, but it is difficult to define. What is the Picturesque? How does it relate to wider perceptions of the landscape? How did people try to create it? How was it received at the time, and how has it been received subsequently? And how are Picturesque gardens managed today? This weekend event, held in honour of Michael Symes on the occasion of his retirement form running the annual Oxford conference of The Gardens Trust, will seek to provide some answers.

There will be a coach trip to Woburn House. The entrance charge for Woburn is included in the tuition fee for the course, along with the cost of the coach.  There will be much standing and walking over uneven ground. Please come with suitable footwear and prepared for all weathers.

Programme details

Held in association with The Gardens Trust


Friday 31 May 2019

6.00pm           Registration (for those who have booked for dinner)

6.30pm            Dinner

7.45pm             Registration (for those who have not booked for dinner)

8.00pm-         What is the Picturesque?

9.15pm            TOM WILLIAMSON

Saturday 1 June 2019

8.00am           Breakfast (residents only)

9.00am           Picturesque landscape

                        Stephen Daniels

10.00am          Crooked, twisted, blasted trees or tall, straight and


                        FIONA STAFFORD

11.00am           Coffee/tea

11.30am            Humphry Repton at Woburn Abbey

                         KEIR DAVIDSON

12.30pm           Break

12.45pm           Depart for Woburn Abbey (packed lunches to be eaten on

                         the coach - these are provided for those who have booked

                         and paid for them in advance). 

                         (Please bring your own packed lunch if  you wish and

                         outdoor footwear suitable for walking and clothing for all


6.00pm            Arrive back at Rewley House


6.30pm            Dinner

8.00pm-         "There is a charm sometimes in having a little fear mingled

9.15pm            with one’s admiration”: sensation and fantasy at Stowe

                      AMY LIM

Sunday 2 June 2019

8.00am           Breakfast (residents only)

9.00am           The Peripatetic picturesque: domestic tourism and

                        landscape, 1750–1850

                        DALE TOWNSHEND

10.00am          Christopher Hussey, Scotney Castle and the Picturesque:

                        studies in a point of view

                        OLIVER COX

11.00am           Coffee/tea

11.30am           The Picturesque in the 21st century

                         BEN COWELL

12.30pm           Break / bar open

12.45pm           Lunch and course disperses


Accommodation for this weekend is at Rewley House for Friday and Saturday nights only.

Depending on availability it may also be possible to extend your stay, please enquire at the time of booking for availability and prices.

All bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.

Unfortunately it is not yet possible to book twin room accommodation online, so if you wish to book a twin room, please send in your completed enrolment form or contact the Day & Weekend Events Office, Email:; Telephone: + 44 (0) 1865 270380.


Tuition (includes coffee/tea, Entrance & Coach): £159.00
Baguette Sunday: £4.90
Dinner Friday Evening: £20.00
Dinner Saturday Evening: £20.00
Hot Lunch Sunday: £14.00
Packed Lunch Saturday: £7.50
Single B&B Friday & Saturday Nights: £158.40
Twin B&B Friday & Saturday Nights (per person): £112.40


If you are in receipt of a state benefit you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

If you do not qualify for the concessionary fee but are experiencing financial hardship, you may still be eligible for financial assistance.

Concessionary fees for short courses


Dr Ben Cowell


Director General, Historic Houses

Professor Stephen Daniels


Emeritus Professor of Cultural Geography, University of Nottingham

Mr Keir Davidson


Independent Scholar

Mrs Amy Lim


D.Phil student, University of Oxford/Tate

Professor Fiona Stafford


Professor of English, University of Oxford


Professor Dale Townshend


Professor of Gothic Literature, Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies, Manchester Metropolitan University

Professor Tom Williamson


Professor of Landscape History, University of East Anglia

Dr Oliver Cox

Director of Studies & Speaker

Heritage Engagement Fellow, University of Oxford

The Gardens Trust


Dr Paul Barnwell

Director of Studies

Dr Paul Barnwell is Director of Studies in the Historic Environment and Co-Director of Courses and Workshops in the Historic Environment at OUDCE.