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.
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.
Nic Boyes, consultant stone
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.
Venice, Heart City
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.
Falkland's Historic Buildings
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.
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.
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.
View the recording of
14 April 2021
Karen Dundas, Scottish Wall Paintings
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
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
Alexandra Lotz: Horse Heritage
Alexandra is a leading authority on all aspects of horse heritage,
ranging from landscapes modified by centuries of horse breeding and
nurture, through the intangible skills of horse-breeding and management, to
the artefacts associated with the ‘heritage of the horse’– horse harness
including saddles, textiles, carriages, and the whole vast subject of
architecture expressly designed for horses.
Alexandra is based in her native
Germany, but wrote the excellent dissertation for her Master’s degree about the House of
Falkland, so she is no stranger to Falkland, nor to Falkland people. She will unfold to us how horse heritage is everywhere
if you know where to look for it, because up to 100 years or so ago
anyone who needed to move around had to do so with the aid of a horse!
recording of Alexandra's talk.
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.’
recording of David's talk.
14 July 2021
A day on the Wemyss Estate
We were invited to the Wemyss Estate (pronounced
'weems') to include a visit to the
incomparable Wemyss School of Needlework, conducted by Fiona Wemyss who runs the school,
and the far-famed gardens of Wemyss Castle, where we were welcomed by Fiona's sister-in-law,
Wemyss Castle Gardens has been described as 'One of the horticultural wonders of Scotland'.
The grounds at Wemyss Castle have been gardened formally since the 17th century, each generation introducing their own aesthetics and ideas.
After the second world war the walled garden at Wemyss Castle became largely redundant.
Since 1993 it has been lovingly overhauled and redesigned by Charlotte and Michael Wemyss, who were our guides for the visit.
The Wemyss School of Needlework, founded in 1877 by Dora Wemyss to teach a skill to local girls to enable them to earn a living,
still operates in its purpose-built building in Coaltown of Wemyss.
The collection includes hundreds of samples (some dating back to Jacobean times), tissue tracings, class registers, order books and price lists.
Our guide for this part of the day waw the Director of the School, Fiona Wemyss,
who talked about the school, and showed us us some of the amazing clothes and textiles on display.
See also our previous years' programmes, 2018–19 and
2019–20, and the
full list of recorded talks.