Previews & Talks

Heritage Talk - Bath and the Picturesque

Weston Studio

We are delighted to invite you to an evening of short talks exploring the picturesque in Bath and Bristol.

The Picturesque is one of Britain’s most distinctive contributions to landscape garden design, but it is difficult to define, almost elusive. How did people try to create their architecture and gardens?  And how are Picturesque gardens managed today?

Confirmed speakers include Dr Amy Frost, Senior Curator, Bath Preservation Trust; Alice Palfrey, Head Gardener Prior Park Landscape Garden; Margie Hoffnung, Conservation Officer, The Gardens Trust.

This event accompanies Playing the Picturesque, an interactive installation exploring the boundaries between virtual and physical space.

Talk starts at 6.45pm, bar open from 6pm

£5 Adult, £4 Art Pass, EAC*, UoB Staff

*University of Bath student? Find out how to join the Edge Arts Community for FREE



Guest speakers 

Dr Amy Frost is the Senior Curator of Bath Preservation Trust, which operates No.1 Royal Crescent, Beckford’s Tower & Museum, the Museum of Bath Architecture and the Herschel Museum of Astronomy.  She specialises in British architecture of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century and is an expert on the life and aesthetics of the British collector and writer William Beckford (1760-1844).  Amy is a part-time Teaching Fellow at the University of Bath, School of Architecture.

Alice Palfrey is Head Gardener of Prior Park Gardens. The youngest Head Gardener ever appointed at the National Trust, she continues the process of restoring it to its 1764 state at the time of creator Ralph Allen’s death. She studied environmental science at University and then a four month trip to Madagascar where she fell in love with plants while playing a part in planting up mangroves and reestablishing reefs. Despite the tropical surroundings, Alice’s love of the English countryside soon brought her back to the UK, with an urge to play her part in conservation work closer to home. Alice took up a full-time volunteer gardener/ranger position with the National Trust at Dyrham Park in 2010, and hasn’t looked back since.

Margie Hoffnung completed a 4 year Horticulture Degree at Writtle College, after working at Westonbirt Arboretum. Her sandwich placement was with Rosemary Verey, the well-known plantswoman, author and garden designer, with whom she continued to work for over a decade until Rosemary’s death.  She also spent some years at Highgrove as both gardener and garden guide for HRH The Prince of Wales, as well as manning Jekka McVicar’s herb stand at flower shows like Chelsea and Hampton Court for several seasons.  She subsequently completed a Masters  in the Conservation of Historic Gardens & Cultural Landscapes at Bath and since 2013 has worked for the Garden History Society (now the Gardens Trust) as their Conservation Officer.  In this role she liaises closely with County Gardens Trusts all round England and responds to planning applications which might affect listed historic designed landscapes, to make sure as far as possible, that these proposals do not have an adverse effect on those sites or their settings.  She is a regular speaker to gardening societies on a variety of topics as well speaking on conservation issues relating to historic gardens to heritage bodies.