What’s on : Lectures

“A treasure not to be sacrificed” a continuing history of the Museum Gardens

5 Jun 2018
Start time
7:30 PM
Tempest Anderson Hall
Dr Peter Hogarth

Event Information

“A treasure not to be sacrificed” a continuing history of the Museum Gardens

Dr Peter Hogarth, University of York

We are all familiar with the Museum Gardens and their picturesque ruins. From these surviving remains and historical records we can piece together the history of the land from early times until it eventually became available for the Yorkshire Philosophical Society to create a botanic garden. How the Society acquired the first few acres and later expanded its territory, and how it developed and managed the Gardens, emerges from the YPS’s own archives, from numerous pictures and maps, and from a multitude of other sources. Following on from his talk in June 2017 Peter Hogarth will continue the fascinating story of York’s Museum Gardens.

This lecture will be preceded by the Annual General Meeting of the Society at 6.45pm

Image credit: YMT York Museums Trust

Member’s report

Based on research for the forthcoming book, this account of the history of the Gardens began at the main gate showing how plans for it changed over the years, then moved to St Leonards Hospital and the Multangular Tower which border the Gardens. The original parcel of land granted to the YPS was gradually enlarged, and Sir John Murray Naesmyth was commissioned to lay out much of the site in the gardenesque manner, creating a pleasure garden enjoyed by members and guests alike. Naesmyth ‘s design did not include the botanical garden, once situated behind the Hospitium, or the area now known as the Artists’ Garden, whose history was also traced. Over the years the Gardens have hosted many events, including the 1909 Pageant and a number of cycles of the Mystery Plays. There have also been a variety of temporary installations, from cannon used at Sevastopol to the celebrated Renzo Piano Pavilion. Now managed by the York Museums Trust, the gardens are open to the public, and represent York’s most visited attraction.

Margaret Leonard