Women and Gardens


Held in association with The Gardens Trust

This weekend will seek to document, explore and debate the pioneering contributions made by women to the development of gardens and landscape design from the medieval period to the present. New and exciting research will be presented to illuminate the roles of women as designers, patrons, writers, botanists, craftswomen and artists and to explore the rich and varied possibilities from combining gender history and garden history.  There will be an afternoon coach trip to Wrest Park. 

The cost of the coach is included in the tuition fee for the course.  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 29 May 2020

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-         Beth Chatto: a life in plants

9.15pm           CATHERINE HORWOOD


Saturday 30 May 2020

8.00am           Breakfast (residents only)

9.00am           The Changing seasons at Munstead Wood

                        ANNABEL WATTS

10.00am          Literary Coteries and their impact on landscape design,


                        JEMIMA HUBBERSTEY and ANDREW HANN

11.00am         Coffee/tea

11.30am         The Conservation and representation of 250 years of garden

                       history at Wrest Park

                       JOHN WATKINS

12.30pm        Break

12.45pm        Depart for Wrest Park (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 weathers.)

6.00pm        Arrive back at Rewley House


6.30pm        Dinner

8.00pm-       ‘The Lady of the garden, lawn and blackbird:’ Beatrix Whistler

9.15pm          and horticulture

                     CLARE WILLSDON


Sunday 31 May 2020

8.00am        Breakfast (residents only)

9.00am        Miss Alice de Rothschild and the gardens at


                   PIPPA SHIRLEY  

10.00am     The Messels at Nymans

                   ALICE STRICKLAND

11.00am     Coffee/tea

11.30am     'An almost impossible thing:’ pioneering professional women


                    FIONA DAVISON

12.30pm     Break / bar open

12.45pm     Lunch and course disperses



Description Costs
Tuition (includes coffee/tea & coach trip) £156.20
Baguette Sunday £5.00
Dinner Friday Evening £25.00
Dinner Saturday Evening £25.00
Hot Lunch Sunday £15.00
Packed Lunch Saturday £7.50
Single B&B Friday & Saturday Nights £165.00
Twin/Double B&B Friday & Saturday Nights £234.00


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



Ms Fiona Davison


Head of Libraries and Exhibitions, Royal Horticultural Society

Dr Andrew Grahame Hann


Historians Team Leader, English Heritage

Dr Catherine Horwood


Independent Scholar

Miss Jemima Hubberstey


DPhil Student, University of Oxford

Ms Pippa Shirley


Head of Collections and Gardens, Waddesdon Manor (Rothschild Foundation), National Trust

Dr Alice Strickland


Curator, National Trust

Mr John Watkins


Head of Gardens and Landscape, English Heritage Trust

Mrs Annabel Watts


Head Gardener,  Munstead Wood

Professor Clare A P Willsdon


Professor of the History of Western Art, University of Glasgow

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.

Dr Oliver Cox

Director of Studies

Heritage Engagement Fellow, University of Oxford

The Gardens Trust



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.