The Picturesque Garden in England
Friday 31 May to Sunday 2 Jun 2019
at Rewley House, Oxford

Held in association with The Department of Continuing Education, University of Oxford, our annual weekend conference takes as its theme, the ‘Picturesque Garden’. The Picturesque is one of England’s most distinctive contributions to garden history, but it is difficult to define. What is the Picturesque? How does it relate to wider perceptions of the landscape? How did people try to create it? How was it received at the time, and how has it been received subsequently? And how are Picturesque gardens managed today? 

This weekend event, held in honour of Michael Symes on the occasion of his retirement from running the annual Oxford conference of The Gardens Trust, will seek to provide some answers.

There will be a coach trip to Woburn House. The entrance charge for Woburn is included in the tuition fee for the course, along with the cost of the coach. There will be much standing and walking over uneven ground. Please come with suitable footwear and prepared for all weathers.

Programme details

Friday 31 May 2019

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 Tom Williamson on What is the Picturesque?

Saturday 1 June 2019
8.00am   Breakfast (residents only)
9.00am   Stephen Daniels on Picturesque Landscape
10.00am Fiona Stafford on Crooked, twisted, blasted trees or tall, straight and flourishing?
11.00am Coffee/tea
11.30am Keir Davidson on Humphry Repton at Woburn Abbey
12.30pm Break
12.45pm Depart for Woburn Abbey
(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  Amy Lim on “There is a charm sometimes in having a little fear mingled with one’s admiration”: sensation and fantasy at Stowe

Sunday 2 June 2019
8.00am  Breakfast (residents only)
9.00am  Dale Townsend on The Peripatetic picturesque: domestic tourism and landscape, 1750–1850
10.00am Oliver Cox on Christopher Hussey, Scotney Castle and the Picturesque: studies in a point of view
11.00am Coffee/tea
11.30am Ben Cowell on The Picturesque in the 21st century
12.30pm Break / bar open
12.45pm Lunch and course disperses


Our accommodation for this weekend at Rewley House is now fully booked, but a last few day places are available. Contact Rewley House for details, email:; Telephone: + 44 (0) 1865 270380.

Basic fee: £159, full details on click through.

Please use the ‘Book now‘ button on this page. Alternatively, please contact us to obtain an application form:
Rewley House, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JA
Course code: O18P131HCR


Or phone: +44 (0)1865 270380

Applications being accepted