Our very special study day will be led by eminent garden historian Dr. Ann Benson FSA and FRHistS and quondam Beaufort Fellow St John’s College, Cambridge. Ann will share her award-winning research on how the gardens of the Cambridge colleges, founded in medieval and Tudor times, were created and developed over time.
We will start the day by meeting at the Great Gate to St. John’s College, which will be our base for the day. After introductions and coffee and biscuits, Ann’s first lecture will be an introduction to Cambridge as a developing town and how the colleges in medieval and Tudor times developed, two hundred years before the more modern colleges were founded.
Ann will also talk about the history of Christ’s College before we walk there past Trinity and Sydney Sussex. At Christ’s College, we will have a tour of the garden from the head gardener. We will also see Charles Darwin’s garden.
We will have a two-course lunch with a glass of wine or soft drink in the historic Wordsworth Room at St John’s College.
The afternoon will begin with Ann’s lecture on St John’s College garden history, followed by a tour which will include the Fellows’ Garden which is not normally accessible to the public. We may also have the chance to view rare garden books from the College library.
The day will conclude at 4.00pm after tea and cakes at St John’s College. There will be plenty of opportunities for asking questions.
Please note that the day involves walking between colleges, and some stairs.