10 March 2021
Tom Christian: Trees in the Landscape
After working for several years on collaborative programmes at the Royal Botanic Garden
Edinburgh, which led to extensive travel to some far-flung parts of the world,
Tom now works freelance as a consultant dendrologist and horticulturalist.
His clients range from private estates, National Trust for Scotland,
to smaller organisations and community groups.
A specialist in unusual trees, Tom’s interests include how our gardens and landscapes
can be made more resilient in the face of climate change and other challenges.
Tom is also Assistant Editor of the website
Trees and Shrubs Online
which is set to become the definitive reference work on woody plants grown
in northern temperate gardens.
14 April 2021
Karen Dundas, Scottish Wall Paintings Conservators
Karen leads this team of outstanding conservators who have worked on
some of the most important schemes of painted decoration and mural paintings in Scotland,
including Falkland Palace. She lives in Dunfermline, Fife, and has lately become involved
with the painted decoration
which is one of the special features of the House of Falkland.
If our public health situation permits, her talk will be followed by a special visit to the
House of Falkland to see the outstanding interiors of the 1840s and 1890s
12 May 2021
Fiona runs the Wemyss School of Needlework at Coaltown of Wemyss
On the one hand it is a collection of exquisite historic needlework from the
16th century onwards.
On the other hand it is a practical training centre for skills in needlework.
It is likely that instead of a lecture we will have a whole-day visit to Wemyss, with a talk and visit to the School of Needlework in the morning, lunch in the village hall,
and in the afternoon a visit to the garden and garden centre of Wemyss Castle.
[Date and location to be confirmed]
9 June 2021
David F. Wilson, public artist
David was one of the first graduates in Scotland to achieve an MA in
Public Art & Design. What he has done with this achievement he puts very
well in his own words: ‘My passion for art has always been for work in
public spaces. Inspired by the new art works that were springing up
around Scotland in the New Towns of Glenrothes and Irvine, and in Dundee
specifically, I directly experienced the benefits that art and artists
can have on communities. I came to realise that if the environments we
live in or pass through as visitors are respected, treated as important
and designed as if they really matter, the wider public reaps the
benefits and has a far more positive experience within those settings.’
Peter Burman writes: ‘I was thrilled and inspired the first
time I heard David speak in public about the wonderful work he does as
an artist, not only for the beauty of textures and pattern-making in his
work, but also for the skilful and sympathetic way in which he works
with the communities for whom his work is generally commissioned.’
February 2021: Marietta Crichton Stuart: Falkland
and its People 1901-1913, some stories from the book
Marietta is no stranger to succeeding seasons of
Falkland Society lectures. She is a leading local historian and archivist to
the Falkland Estate and her branch of the Crichton Stuart family.
Consequently, Tom Playfair and Ross Burgess were delighted when she became a
consultant to the book published in early December 2020.
She read it twice with great care and made many valuable suggestions,
and has also contributed a Foreword.
View the recording of Marietta's talk.
January 2021: Ross Burgess: Falkland's
Having initiated the Falkland Listed Buildings Survey in August,
Ross has started documenting the results in the Falkland Society’s own Wikipedia-style
online encyclopedia (check it out here).
He will be talking about some of the interesting questions
and issues this has raised. Ross studied French and Philosophy at Oriel College, Oxford,
but turned his attention to IT technology at a time when it was new to most of us.
Later, ‘for fun’, he did a Maths degree. Since settling into Falkland,
he has developed a well-informed passion for the history of Falkland and its people.
View the recording of Ross's talk.
December 2020: Peter Burman: Venice,
Peter has twice studied in Italy (in Florence and Rome) but only in
recent years has he become an active and engaged visitor to Venice,
about which he will speak. He will elucidate some of the challenges
which threaten Venice while delighting us with expositions of the
beauties of some of his favourite places including the Academia,
the Scuola Grande di San Rocco and certain special churches.
View the recording of Peter's talk.
November 2020: Nic Boyes, consultant stone conservator
Nic was one of the leaders of the team which
rescued the Picturesque ruin of the Temple of Decision on the Falkland
Estate from imminent collapse. He has been responsible for any number of
major conservation projects, but in addition to the Temple of Decision
his talk covered the Temple of Hygea in Stockbridge (Edinburgh) and, above all,
about five-year long programme to conserve the external stonework of
the Rosslyn Chapel, one of Scotland’s most beloved monuments.
View the recording of Nic's talk.
October 2020: Vanessa Stephens, freelance landscape architect
Vanessa trained at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. Her
interest in historic burial landscapes stems from her year out in London
within easy reach of the famous Victorian burial grounds, followed by a
period in Italy studying the gardens of the Italian Renaissance. In
association with Norman Gray & Partners she has prepared the landscape
management plan for the famous Dean Cemetery in Edinburgh.
It is hoped at a later date to organise a
visit to Edinburgh which will start at the Dean Cemetery, progress
through some of the private gardens of the Dean Valley – pausing
somewhere for lunch – and end at the Royal Botanic Garden, another
View the recording of Vanessa's talk.
September 2020: AGM and lecture: Peter Jones, Painter
Peter Jones loves to paint houses, and often
does so to commission. He has produced books of paintings of the
Picturesque houses of Kirkcudbright, Portobello and Falkland. His
exhibition at the Gallery in the Falkland Stables at the end of 2019 was a delight. His
paintings are not simply a recording of façades but subtly hint at the
history of a house and the vibrant life of its inhabitants.
Peter's talk was preceded by the Annual General Meeting
of the Falkland Society.
the Minutes of the AGM (PDF file).
View the recording of the entire meeting.
See also our previous years' programmes, 2018–19 and