As one of the London Parks & Gardens Trust’s Winter Lectures Val will be presenting the story of the gardens at Gunnersbury Park in West London. Val is co-author with James Wisdom of Gunnersbury Park: the Place and the People (Scala Publications). The historic core of the gardens was created for Sir John Maynard’s Palladian mansion, created during 1658-1663, softened and expanded by Henry Furnese MP who owned it from 1739 to 1756 and embellished by Princess Amelia during 1762-1786. Though the estate was divided for sale in separate lots in 1800 successive owners invested substantially in Gunnersbury. A large area of the property was let to nursery gardeners in the 18th adc 19th century. A branch of the Rothschild family owned much of the estate from 1835, and reunited the separate plots in 1889; in their heyday the Rothschild gardens here were famed for their exotic fruit, their fabulous cut flowers and the orchid collection. In 1926 it became a pubic park and over the last 4 years over £20m has been spent on restoring the gardens and the Museum.

The venue is The Gallery, 77 Cowcross Street London EC1M 6EL. Tickets cost £10 for LP> members, £12 for non-members. Full details and how to book can be found on their web-site