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Christopher Thacker: A Tribute and Celebration

Christopher Thacker who died in September 2018 aged 87 was one of the founding Trustees of the Museum of Garden History (now the Garden Museum) and a mischievous historian with a passion for Dracula who became an inspector of parks and gardens.

Even when he was afflicted by the onset of dementia, which he suffered for the last 14 years of his life, his mischievous sense of humour was not extinguished. When a nurse was trying to extract blood from one of his veins, he suddenly declared: “I’ve written about vampires, you know.” Indeed he had. As his wife explained to the nurse, Christopher had a fascination with Count Dracula and wildness, especially in the era of Romanticism. He wrote countless articles and books, mostly on less scary subjects than blood sucking. He was also the founding editor of Garden History, the Journal of the Garden History Society now The Gardens Trust.

Christopher’s eventful life will be remembered and celebrated by garden historian Min Wood with contributions from Dr Brent Elliott on his considerable literary output and Dr David Jacques on his contribution as the first inspector for the Register of Parks and Gardens of Historic Interest.

For those who did not know Christopher, the evening will be an insight into the pioneering days of garden conservation and the beginnings of garden history as a discipline.


6.30pm Museum doors open
7.00pm Welcome and Introduction – Christopher Woodward
7.05pm Christopher Thacker remembered – Min Wood
7.25pm His Literary Output – Brent Elliott
7.45pm The Gardens Register – David Jacques
8.00-8.15pm Discussion and Questions – Christopher Woodward

Speaker bios

  • Dr David Jacques

    Dr David Jacques

    Dr David Jacques is a consultant, lecturer and author on historic landscapes, parks and gardens. He was Inspector of Historic Parks and Gardens at English Heritage from 1987 to 1993.

  • Dr Brent Elliott

    Dr Brent Elliott

    Dr Brent Elliott was Librarian of the Royal Horticultural Society from 1982 to 2007 and since then has been the Society’s Historian. For 25 years he was a member of the Historic Parks and Gardens Committee of English Heritage.

  • Min Wood

    Min Wood

    Min Wood is a garden writer and landscape consultant with a special interest in the influence of the Romantic Movement on English place-making.

Image: Christopher Thacker standing on the Chinese bridge at Biddulph Grange