I was very pleased to be invited to give a talk organised by the Curtis Museum in Alton, Hampshire, UK, not far from where I grew up in Eastleigh, Hants.

In my book I introduce the Hampshire towns of Alresford (watercress), Selborne (Gilbert White and sea kale) and Alton as the “Hampshire perennial vegetable triangle” or the UK hotspot of perennial vegetable domestication. Alton is included as the home of botanist William Curtis, who was Praefectus Horti at the Chelsea Physic Garden in London in the 1770s. He was also a friend of Gilbert White! He wrote a pamphlet, ‘Directions for the culture of the Crambe maritima or Sea Kale, for the use of the Table’ in 1799 to bolster efforts in introducing it as a market vegetable.
See the album of pictures from a wander around Alton with Sheila John of the Curtis museum, edimentals tour of the Allen Gallery garden and later talk there! See the album below!
Other related posts:

Directions for the culture of Sea Kale (1799)

The Hampshire Perennial Vegetable Triangle

Lecture at the Hillier Gardens

Hampshire’s Watercress Line

2 thoughts on “Alton”

  1. There is no evidence that William Curtis the botanist ever met Gilbert White but he did know Gilbert’s brother – Thomas [Holt] White in London.

    The London Botanic Garden, St George’s Fields, was opened on January 1st 1779 and in his proposals William said:
    ‘To the generosity and public spirit of the honourable Daines Barrington and Thomas White Esq., his principal patrons in this undertaking, the garden in a great degree owes its existence.’

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