Story behind Welbeck Abbey's gardens revealed

26 July 2021

Story behind Welbeck Abbey's gardens revealed

A rare collection of early colour photographs will be used to reveal the story behind Welbeck Abbey’s gardens during an online talk hosted by The Harley Gallery on Friday (30th July).

Former curator of the Portland Collection, Derek Adlam will explore the history of the gardens and talk about how they were shaped.

It was the 6th Duchess of Portland who developed the flower gardens at Welbeck Abbey for the family and their guests to enjoy.

Work on the gardens began around 1905. The story of this chapter in its history was captured on stereoscopic autochromes; an early form of colour photography that showed images in 3D.  

“The photographs are now the only record of some of the most remarkable flower gardens ever created in Britain,” said Lisa Gee, Director of The Harley Gallery.

“They allow us to experience the grandeur of Duchess Winifred’s gardens through incredibly vibrant, immersive images. The talk will be of interest to gardeners and historians… in fact, anyone who has ever been intrigued about the gardens here at Welbeck.”

Derek Adlam is the Curator Emeritus of The Portland Collection and continues to live on the historic Welbeck estate. He has written two books about the estate’s history including Tunnel Vision: The Enigmatic 5th Duke of Portland and The Great Collector: Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford.