2024 Programme

15 January 2024
Devotion, Lust & an Exploding King: stories of love & death from Medieval & Tudor Syon Park
In this illustrated talk, Howard Simmons, a professional guide at Syon for 10 years, will describe the Bridgettine nuns’ love of God, Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries, his love of money and power and the marriages, births and deaths associated with his six wives, plus the strange account of his corpse exploding in Syon’s crypt!

19 February 2024
Neighbours of the more famous Lord Burlington: the walled gardens of Sir Stephen Fox (1627-1716) & Spencer Compton, 1st Earl of Wilmington (1674-1743)
While Lord Burlington’s Chiswick gardens are amongst the most famous in the country what do we know of the gardens next door which were later acquired, adapted and incorporated into today’s estate? Much new information that has recently come to light in the archives at Chatsworth and elsewhere will be revealed by Dr Sally Jeffery, architectural and garden historian, in this illustrated talk.

18 March 2024
Who lived at Boston Manor House in the 17th & 18th centuries?
This illustrated talk by Steph Hagan will focus upon its occupants as a private home and what we know about their lives, including Lady Mary Reade who completed it in 1623 and the Clitherows who owned it from the 1670s. Steph was the principal researcher on the history of Boston Manor for the recent refurbishment of the estate.

15 April 2024
The local historians of Brentford & Chiswick
A variety of authors have researched and written the history of our area since the 18th century. Members who missed James Wisdom‘s lively talk at the Chiswick Book Festival in 2023 have asked for it to be given again in our programme, with the addition of the historians of Brentford

20 May 2024
Annual General Meeting
The business meeting will review the year and receive the financial report. It will be followed by an illustrated talk by Brentford historian Janet McNamara who is a Hounslow Heritage Guide and our Vice-Chairman. It will celebrate the centenary of the opening of the 20-acre Boston Manor Park by the local authority in 1924 and mark its major refurbishment in 2022-3.

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