Wed10Jan20185:30 pmRoyal Botanic Gardens, Kew
We are delighted that Kew Society members have been offered a rare opportunity to visit the Economic Botany Collection at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. This is the oldest and perhaps the most fascinating of Kew's science collections.
The tour is lead by Mark Nesbitt, who is senior Ethobotanist and Curator at RGB Kew and he will delve into Kew's history and current science research via a unique collections of rubber, lacebark, Chinese medicines and other useful plants.
Members should be aware that the temperature is cool (17C / 63F) and the tour involves walking (including poorly lit paths) but no steps.
The tour is very generously free, and there are 15 places available offered on a first-come-first-serve basis. Please email email@example.com to secure your place on the tour and to find our where to meet.
We are exceedingly grateful to Mark Nesbitt for making this most generous offer to our members.
Wed17Jan20185:30 pmRoyal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Kew Society members were offered a rare opportunity to visit the Economic Botany Collection at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. This is the oldest and perhaps the most fascinating of Kew's science collections containing over 100,000 items. The collection began in 1847.
The tour was lead by Mark Nesbitt, who is senior Ethobotanist and Curator at RGB Kew and he delved into Kew's history and current science research via a unique collections of rubber, lacebark, Chinese medicines and other useful plants. The term Economic Botany essentially means 'useful plants'.
Jamaica lace plant. George II once had a suit made using this 'imitation' lace.
The bark simply peals back to expose this extraordinary lace.
Mark has been working with groups to help reintroduce this plant for commercial purposes.
The collection houses many & varied Chinese medicines.
These Alpine plants from New Zealand were labelled 'Vegetable Sheep' and caused a sensation in Victorian London.
Maori cloak, though to be ceremonial. Made from an Alpine plant that mimics leather.
Mark has been working with ethnic groups using this very valuable cloak.
Wild rubber hot water bottle.
The tour was very generously free and we are exceedingly grateful to Mark Nesbitt for making this most generous offer to our members.
Mon12Feb20187:30 pmDuke Street Church, Richmond. TW9 1DH
Image of John Greening with garden plan
Museum consultant and historian Val Bott has been studying the heyday of nursery gardening since 2006. In parishes along the Thames their garden grounds were well located for the river and road transport and they supplied estates and gardens of every size. Members of one family held the majority of royal contracts in the 18th century, in London, Windsor, Hampton Court, and Richmond. Although they were based in Isleworth, the Greening family had royal contracts at both the Kew Garden and the Richmond Garden, both part of the Kew Gardens today.
Doors open at 7.30pm and the talk starts at 8pm
We are very pleased to be promoting this event jointly with the Richmond Local History Society.
Tickets available on the door.
Free to Kew Society Members and Richmond Local History Society Members.
Mon12Feb20182.15pm-3pmThe National Archives
Kew Society members are being offered the opportunity to hear a presentation from PCSO Lorraine Childs of Richmond Police about how to protect yourself against fraudsters.
As the National Archives is closed on a Monday we have to submit names in advance. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to come along.
Please note that this offer is for Kew Society members only due to restricted spaces available.
Zac Goldsmith is holding a public meeting on the same subject on Saturday March 10th from 10am. Click here for more details
Mon26Feb20187pm (doors open at 6.30)The National Archives
Picture by Caroline Blomfield
The Kew Society is delighted to welcome Dr Lee Prosser and Polly Putnam, Curators of Historic Royal Palaces who will be talking about the two year restoration project to conserve the Great Pagoda. The building will start to be unwrapped soon ready for reopening this summer.
Kew's iconic Pagoda was completed in 1762 by Sir William Chambers. The ten-storey octagonal structure is 163 ft high (almost 50 meters) and was designed at the height of the 18th century craze for chinoiserie in Georgian London. The original building was very colourful; the roofs being covered with varnished iron plates, with a dragon on each of its 80 corners.
Tickets will be available at the door on the night.
Kew Society members £3
Non members : £6
Wed07Mar20186.45pm for 7pm startThe National Archives
A316, early days.
Paul Velluet, President of the Richmond Local History Society, Chartered Architect and former Assistant Regional Director of English heritage, has kindly agreed to give a talk to The Kew Society entitled “Richmond Divided”, on the building of the A316 that promises to be both fascinating and enlightening.
The presentation will include archived maps, going back to the 1700’s and photographs from the 1930’s cataloguing each stage of the roads development and the necessary demolition of existing housing stock.
As we drive, cycle and attempt to navigate the A316 on foot, we might now be much more likely to take notice of the evidence of the distant past along its route.
Tickets available on the door.
Kew Society members £3, Non-members £6
Fri20Apr20186.45pm for 7pm startThe National Archives
Fallow Deer grazing in Richmond Park
We are delighted to have the opportunity to show the film commissioned by the Friends of Richmond Park to our Members in the new theatre of the National Archives. Sir David Attenborough narrates the film that was directed by George Chan and produced by the Media Trust.
To quote Sir David from the film he says "By understanding the rich nature and wildlife of the park, we can all help to protect it and keep it a very special place"
Max Lankester from The Friends of Richmond Park will be on hand after the film to take Q&A's from the audience - so come prepared!
Tickets £3 for members & £6 for non-members
Please note that parking charges now apply in The National Archives car park
The film has been short listed (last 5) for an award at the 2018 Charity Film Awards. To place your vote click here
Thu26Apr20187.30pm (doors open at 7pm)Kew Community Centre, St Luke's in The Avenue, TW9 2AJ.
This is a chance to hear Kew Ward candidates speak briefly and then answer your questions prior to the local elections on May 3rd.
Pre-submitted questions will stand a greater chance of being taken, but there may be a short opportunity for questions from the floor.
Please send any questions to arrive by 12 noon on Friday 20th April with your name and address to our secretary Claire Bethel at email@example.com
The doors will be open from 7pm for a 7.30pm start.
If you are in need of any special assistance at the venue please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Fri11May20186:30 pmKew Gardens at Elizabeth Gate, Kew Green.
Kew Palace, also known as the Dutch House, was built in 1631 for a Flemish merchant, Samuel Fortrey and his wife, Catherine de Latfeur. Their initials remain carved over the entrance to Kew Palace.
The house was leased by Queen Caroline and later bought by George III who spent happy summers at Kew Palace with his wife, Queen Charlotte and their 15 children. It was an important refuge during his infamous episodes of 'madness'. After Queen Charlotte died in 1818, Kew Palace was closed up. It was acquired by RBG Kew 80 years later and opened to the public for the first time.
The Royal Kitchens, next to the Palace, are preserved from the time of Queen Charlotte's death in 1818. The Great Kitchen and preparation rooms give an insight into Georgian culinary life and the servants who worked there.
We will finish our tour by raising a glass to royal toasts, hosts and maybe ghosts!
Please note that there is a lift in the palace but not in the kitchens where there are a lot of steps.
Tickets for members only: £8 to include a glass of wine
Sat20Oct20188:45 amWestminster Abbey
Following the fast sellout of the September tour we are delighted to be able to offer a second tour.
This guided tour of Westminster Abbey will be with Blue Badge Guide, Helen Bartolome, a Kew Society member.
An additional offer, following Helen’s tour, is the opportunity to visit the new Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries, named in honour of the 60th anniversary of HM The Queen’s reign, and located high above the Abbey floor. Access if via the staircase (108 steps) or the lift. The Galleries, in the eastern triforium, were built c 1250 during the reign of King Henry III.
Used as a viewing gallery for coronations and royal funerals, the Galleries now display over 300 objects from the Abbey’s collection and tell the story of its thousand-year history.
£25 for Concessions : Westminster Abbey only
£28 for Adults : Westminster Abbey only
£30 for Concessions : Westminster Abbey + Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Gallery
£33 for Adults : Westminster Abbey + Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Gallery
We are meeting at Kew Gardens underground station at 8.45 hrs to take the district line tube.
Any problems on the day please call Sue May on 07871 261 467
Mon22Oct20186:30 pmThe National Archives
To all members, please join us at The National Archives for our Annual General Meeting.
We will welcome you at 6.30pm for a drink with the committee, followed by the AGM at 7pm.
After the AGM we are delighted that Paul Davies, Operations Director for The National Archives and a resident of Kew, will talk about the history of The National Archives' site. Previously known as Kew Meadows, it played an important role in both World Wars before the arrival of the Public Record Office almost 40 years ago. Paul will talk about the 1990's extension of what has now become the National Archives and the internal re modelling of some of the public access areas, and will bring us up to date with what has been happening with the neighbouring former Inland Revenue site.
We look forward to seeing you then.
Sun04Nov20182pm or 3pmSandycoombe Rd. St Margaret's
Turners House has been carefully restored and is now open to the public once more.
Following the two successful tours in August, we are very pleased to be able to offer this new date to our members, see below for booking details.
Sandycombe Lodge was built by 1813 to the designs of England’s great landscape painter, J.M.W. Turner; working here as his own architect to create a quiet retreat for himself, away from the pressures of the London art world. It also provided a home for his father, old William, in retirement from his trade as a barber and wigmaker in Covent Garden. With old William’s declining health and changes in his own life, Turner sold the house in 1826. After an interesting history which includes 'airmens goggles' it was bought by Professor Harold Livermore and his wife Ann in 1947. They were careful custodians of the house and its precious heritage, and well-informed collectors of art relating to Turner and his time. In the 1950s they secured Grade 2* listing for the building. Professor Livermore set up The Sandycombe Lodge Trust, now Turner’s House Trust, in 2005 and on his death at the age of 95 in 2010, the Trust became the owner of Sandycombe.
Please join us for a guided tour either at 2pm or 3pm.
Please note that within the house, only the ground floor drawing room is fully accessible for visitors with mobility issues. The garden, and toilet is fully wheelchair accessible.
Ticket price £6 per person.
Sat10Nov201810:00 amGreen Dragon Lane, Over Kew Bridge
To address concerns about the poor quality of London water, Kew Bridge works opened in 1838 to pump, treat and supply water until 1944. This is a wonderful chance to see the steam engines in action and to hear about their fascinating history.
Join us for a tour (The Cornish and Rotative engines should be running) followed by a chance to chat over tea and biscuits.
£12.50 per Adult (no concessions)
£7.50 for children (under 16)
Please note that parking is minimal at the museum and public transport is advisable. The 65 bus stops outside. There are a considerable number of stairs within the museum however approximately 85% of the museum is accessible to wheelchair users via rising platform lifts.
To book tickets;
For previous events please check our archive.