Gardens Of Goodly Delight: Elizabethan And Jacobean Pleasure Gardens

Wednesday 13th July 2011

Lytham Hall


Dr David Bostwick BA (Hons),  MA,  PhD,  ALA,  AMA

We welcome back David, a much appreciated lecturer from the Inaugural Year of Fylde DFAS.  David is an Art Historian who finds delight in sharing his immense knowledge and understanding of life during the 15th and 17th centuries.   A former Keeper of the Social History Collections at Sheffield City Museums, David is a specialist advisor on decorative plasterwork, woodwork and furniture of the period.  He works as a consultant on historic buildings and their interpretation to the National Trust, English Heritage and Historic Scotland.  David is also a Tour leader for ACE Study Tours, Cambridge and is ever in demand for his memorable NADFAS Lectures and Special Interest Day events.

This Special Interest Day is to be our closing event of the Fylde DFAS year.  We envisage an enjoyable, informative and relaxed day at Lytham Hall, set in its beautiful grounds at the height of the summer season.   Three lectures will be included during the day:



A closer look at the evident delight which Elizabethans and Jacobeans enjoyed from their pleasure gardens, especially in developing arbours, pergolas, curious ‘knots’ and mazes; in their collecting of rare plants, and in clipping others into wondrous shapes.  Later came a craze for fountains and water features, mounts and extravagant gateways, and eventually, the inclusion of grottos.



Looking at evidence through still-life and genre paintings of the time, momentous changes in kitchen gardens and orchards will be seen, especially following the discovery of strange new foods such as sweetcorn, potatoes and tomatoes from the Americas.



Throughout the Tudor and Stuart period a banquet was not a feast but, rather, an intimate meal or dessert of candied fruits, syllabub, jellies, biscuits, sticky sweets and fine wines, as shown in a multitude of Old Masters still-life paintings.  Architecturally extravagant garden pavilions, summer-houses and roof-top rooms were designed, and elegantly furnished with marble tables, agate cutlery and Venetian glasses exclusively for the enjoyment of this pastime – and that which, on occasion, followed!


We invite you to join us on this special occasion – undoubtedly, a day of special interest!   Currently, there is considerable interest in Lytham Hall, as more of the history of the period is discovered, both in the Hall and within the grounds.

We are aiming to keep the cost as low as possible, and hope that you might like to bring your own picnic-hamper lunch  which can be enjoyed in the beautiful grounds at leisure – or, if wet, in the Courtyard or West Wing. Tea and coffee will be served at the lecture sessions and we intend to offer some sweetmeats and delicacies of the period during the afternoon lecture.  Alternatively, a light lunch of a savoury tart (using a recipe of the period) and salad will  be available at a minimal additional cost.