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Dr Todd Gray to paint a historical picture of Devon’s gardens

PUBLISHED: 15:34 18 February 2014 | UPDATED: 15:34 18 February 2014

Mount Edgecumbe

Mount Edgecumbe


Devon’s beautiful gardens, their history and the art depicting them is the subject of March’s evening lecture at the Devon Rural Archive at Shilstone, near Modbury on Thursday 6 March 2014 at 7pm

Silverton ParkSilverton Park

Entitled ‘A Visual History of Devon’s Gardens, 1200 to 1900’, the illustrated talk will be given by Dr Todd Gray MBE of Exeter University, whose new book ‘The Art of the Devon Garden’, a rich, pictorial memoir of the gardens of Devon, was published in September last year with the support of the Devon Gardens Trust.

The book features images of gardens that are popular today as well as those that are no longer in existence and includes Elizabethan herb gardens, formal parterres from the seventeenth century, picturesque Georgian landscapes and herbaceous borders from the Victorian era. The 677 pictures have been assembled from private collections, museums, libraries and archives in the England and the US.

“Many of the images have never been reproduced before and include paintings by well-known artists such as Joshua Reynolds, William Morris, J.M.W. Turner, Nicholas Hilliar and Francis Danby as well as more obscure artists. They have been captured on materials as diverse as glass, pottery, fabric, wood and stone, in addition to paper and canvas,” explained Abi Gray, Consultant Archaeologist at the DRA.

“These historical images present us with an exciting record of how gardening – and its portrayal in art - developed, and include some unusual compositions such as illuminated manuscripts, medieval vestments, Jacobean carved wood, Georgian porcelain and Victorian stained glass. For anyone who is interested in gardening or art, it will be an enlightening lecture”

Born in New England, Dr Todd Gray gained his Doctorate in History from the University of Exeter where he is an Honorary Research Fellow. He has written more than 45 books on the history of Devon and Cornwall and has devoted much of his working career to the study of Devon’s history, writing more extensively on Devon’s past than any other historian. His passion for Devon is such that it has now become his adopted home. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and is actively involved in many local history groups.

The talk will take place in the lecture room at the DRA at Shilstone, near Modbury PL21 0TW at 7pm. Tickets are £5 each and booking is essential. Doors open at 6.30pm from when refreshments will be available. To book tickets please contact Abi on 01548 830832 or email For further information on the DRA please visit the website:

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