Midweek Mulberry Walk: Kensington

27th November 2019

Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park and the streets and squares of this part of London have an unusually large number of mature mulberry trees – including examples of the white mulberry, which is the species most often grown to feed silkworms, and which is rare in the U.K. The walk will take in a unique avenue with 14 white mulberries and 8 mature black mulberries.

This late autumn walk is the first in a cycle of four lunchtime walks that will focus on these two species of mulberry throughout the seasons. Winter is a chance to see the trees without foliage, showing off their individual shape.  I often choose winter to photograph trees, for that reason. 

Other walks will be timed next year to observe the male and female catkins and first leaves in April/May, then the characteristic leaf shapes and fruit of the different species and cultivars in July. Finally, next Autumn, we will enjoy the magnificent yellow of the leaves.

The walk starts at Kensington High Street station and explores some of the nearby streets and squares that harbour (black) mulberries. We will pass beneath a 70-year-old black mulberry growing in the famous Roof Gardens at the top of what used to be the Derry & Toms department store on Kensington High Street. The gardens are closed until next year, but we will schedule a visit as soon as they reopen.  

In Kensington Gardens we will spend some time exploring its unique avenue of mulberries, before ambling to Hyde Park Corner, to find a clutch of mature and recently planted mulberry trees there. On the way, we will pass iconic London scenery, both natural and architectural. Last time I was there I even saw a game of polo…

The walk finishes at Hyde Park Corner tube station, which is also on several bus routes.

Booking is essential. To reserve your place and for further details, click here.

Mulberry, a new book by Peter Coles is published by Reaktion Books and available at your independent bookstore or online.

Find out more

Midweek Mulberry Walk: Deptford to Greenwich

16th October 2019

Deptford and Greenwich have associations with mulberry trees that date back at least to the 16th century, when Queen Elizabeth I commissioned a seat to go around the trunk of a mulberry in her gardens at one of her favourite palaces, Placentia (Greenwich Palace). Greenwich Park is still home to four old mulberrytrees. Fourteen fairly rare white mulberries were planted in 2000 in the grounds of what is now part of the Greenwich University campus.

In the mid-1600's two miles away in Deptford, diarist John Evelyn took over his father-in-law's house at Sayes Court and laid out an impressive garden, including at least one black mulberry tree. The garden has long disappeared, but a veteran mulberry tree stands on the site today. And down the road, in the churchyard of St Nicholas' church, where Elizabethan playwright Chrstopher Marlowe is buried, is a lovely weeping dwarf white mulberry. The church contains wood carvings by Grinling Gibbons, a local man, whom Evelyn introduced to King Charles II after he was restored to the throne. Gibbons never looked back - after the Great Fire destroyed St Paul's cathedral in 1666 he made the screen for the new cathedral, designed by Sir Christopher Wren.

Enjoy the autumn colours of the leaves of the mulberry and other trees with a lovely Thameside walk from Deptford to Greenwich (about 2 miles) with mulberry specialist Dr Peter Coles, whose book Mulberry is published later this month.

Meeting Deptford Train Station at 12.30, but you'll need to reserve a place.

Places are limited so book early and enjoy a special discount. More details and booking here.

Find out more

Midweek Mulberry Walk: Inns of Temple

2nd October 2019

From our starting position on the left bank of the Fleet River, which flows under Faringdon Street, we cross over (and listen to the Fleet through a drain cover), walk to Gray's Inn and then Lincoln's Inn, each with their own mulberry trees and hidden gardens. After visting the poetic and secluded Fountain Court in Middle Temple with two leaning mulberries, we finish our walk in the Inner Temple Garden, with a fine black mulberry and several other mature trees.

A walk punctuated with mulberries, hidden rivers, secluded gardens and the esoteric world of the law courts, led by Dr Peter Coles, co-creator of the Morus Londinium project with the Conservation Foundation and author of Mulberry a global cultural history, published by Reaktion Books on14 October 2019.

Meet at Farringdon station exit on Cowcross Street at 12.30 on October 2.

Places are limited so book early and get a discount. For booking and more information click here.

 

 

Find out more

Midweek Mulberry Walk West Square

11th September 2019

The foraging season may be over for this year but September is still a wonderful month to appreciate London's mulberry tree heritage.  This Midweek Mulberry walk takes in some of the capital's most iconic mulberry trees, as well as tracking down a key figure in the history of the mulberry in the 17th century, John Tradescant the Elder.

This year we were unable to forage in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park (GMH) for administrative reasons, but we are hoping  that next summer we can access the splendid old black mulberry in the gardener's private yard, as we did in 2016.

Picking up the strands of the foraging walk we had planned for 29 August, we will start at West Square, surely one of the most extraordinary sites for mulberry trees anywhere in London.  We will then be able to see the GMH mulberry from the road and briefly visit the community orchard in the park.

After winding our way through the streets of Lambeth, with the ghost of an Italian gardener's mulberry orchard hovering, around us, we finish at the Garden Museum next to Lambeth Palace, where John Tradescant the Elder is buried. Tradescant was gardener to Robert Cecil at Hatfield House and to Charles I at Oatlands Our guide, Peter Coles, will explain some of the important contributions Tradescant made to London's mulberry heritage.

Meet 12.30 at West Square gardens. The walk will end at the Garden Museum around 2 pm. You are free to exlore the Museum shop and cafeteria, or for an entrance fee (well worth it) you can explore the Museum collection.

For tickets and information, please go to the Eventbrite page here.  Booking is essential. Hope to see you there!

 

 

Find out more

Cancelled: Late season mulberry forage

28th August 2019

 

 

 

Cancelled

Due to unforseen constraints on our priviledged access to the Geraldine Mary Harmsworth gardeners' yard this year, we have sadly decided to cancel this year's foraging event, as it is too late to make other arrangements for publicly accessible foraging in the borough. 

We are working to be able to offer a series of free mulberry walks throughout 2020, including free foraging walks in July and August.  

Please bear with us as we try to find  secure funding for Morus Londinium, which is currently only supported by walks and events organised and led by Peter Coles, with the website continuing to be hosted pro bono by the Conservation Foundation.

 

This is a rare opportunity to combine a visit to some of London's most spectacular 200-year-old black mulberries, in West Square, with foraging for any remaining fruit on an old black mulberry in the (private)  gardener's yard of Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park (site of the Imperial War Museum).  

This lunchtime walk will take in the very unusual black mulberries in West Square. Planted when the garden was laid out around 1800, the trees' massive, collapsed trunks are now almost  parallel to the ground. There are a few young white mulberry trees in the Square too, which are nationally very rare trees.

With special permission from Southwark Council and GMH  head gardener Dominic Leary, we will have access to a splendid ld black mulberry usually inaccessible to the public. It's late in the season, so we will have to take a chance that the birds (and human forager)s will have left a few ripe berries for us.  At worst, it will be a chance to get in an under a lovely old mulberry tree.

We wil also have the possibility of visiting a community orchard with a couple of mulberry trees, which was established a few years ago in GMH with the help of The Orchard Project.

Our guide will be Peter Coles, the driving force behind the Morus Londinium project,  who will  talk about London's mulberries and their history.   

For details and tickets click here.

 

 

 

Find out more

Midweek Mulberry Walk - Chelsea

3rd July 2019

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has more old mulberry trees with a story to tell than many London boroughs, but they are often hidden away. On this 2-hour walk we will discover surviving remnants of the 18th century Raw Silk Company plantation, which once had 2000 mulberry trees; we will see mulberries growing on the site of Sir Thomas More’s magnificent home, discover the site of Henry VIII’s Tudor manor house with its own ancient mulberries, find an old mulberry on Jospeh Bazalgette’s Chelsea Embankment… and more.

Meet at South Kensington Tune, Pelham St / Old Brompton Road exit  at 12.00 noon on Wednesday 3 July.

Google Plus code: FRVG+J7 Kensington, London

The walk will end at Chelsea Manor House on Cheyne Walk (or outside the Chelsea Physic Garden) from where it is a short walk to King's Road for buses to Sloane Square Tube.

Note: The parts of Chelsea we are visiting are not well-served by the Tube, so there will be some inevitable walking involved at the beginning and end of the tour if you wish to access public transport.

Please let the organisers know if this will be difficut for you.

For information and booking click here

 

 

Find out more

Urban Tree Festival 2019

19th May 2019

The mulberries of the City's monasteries and Inns of Temple

 

This walk is part of London’s 2019 Urban Tree Festival, made possible with support from Trees for Cities, the only UK charity working at a national and international scale to improve lives through planting trees in cities. 

 

Many people associate mulberries with James I’s attempt to start an English silk industry in the early 1600’s, but they have played an important part in London life since they were first introduced by the Romans in the 1st century CE. Mulberries have a long association with medieval monasteries and the church, where they were grown for their delicate fruit, which sweetened the dishes of medieval dining tables and offered medicinal benefits too.

The walkshop route will seek out mulberries in and around St Paul’s churchyard, St Bartholomew-the-Great, Charterhouse, Fountain Court (Middle Temple) and the Inner Temple garden.

For more information, to book tickets and details of where and when to meet, please go to the Museum of Walking event page. 

 

Find out more

Urban Tree Festival 2019

18th May 2019

 

Discovering King James I’s Mulberry Garden

 

 

This walk is part of London’s 2019 Urban Tree Festival, made possible with support from Trees for Cities, the only UK charity working at a national and international scale to improve lives through planting trees in cities. 

Morus Londinium's co-founder, Peter Coles, will be leading a walk around the site of what, in the 17th century, was James I's Mulberry Garden. The King planted 10,000 mulberry trees here in 1609/10 to feed silkworms, as part of his plans to start an English silk industry. 

As well as discovering 10 mature mulberry trees, the walk also takes in a beautiful Wren Church (St James’s), St James’s Square, Henry VIII’s Tudor St James’s Palace, part of the National Mulberry Collection in St James’s Park, and both black and white mulberry trees at Hyde Park corner – the northern edge of the King’s mulberry garden.

Mature white mulberries (the species preferred to feed silkworms) are rare in England, but we will see two on this walk.  Peter will point out the differences between the black and white species and explain how mulberry trees arrived in England 1500 years before James I planted his garden.

For more details, to book tickets and reserve your place on this walk, please go to the  Museum of Walking events page, where you will find information on where and when to meet. This walk is also part of the 2019  Chelsea Fringe

 

Date/Time
Date(s) - 18/05/2019
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Find out more

Midweek Mulberry Walk: Kensington

27th November 2019

Midweek mulberries: Kensington

 

Winter Mulberry ID in the Royal Borough

 

This walk takes In more mulberry trees in just 90 minutes than you could find almost anywhere else in London. Unusually, you will be able to see several established white mulberries.  The white mulberry (Morus alba) is the species usually used to rear silkworms, but is very uncommon in the U.K and there are no veteran examples, besides one old tree in Oxford. However, the walk will include several mature black mulberry trees (Morus nigra). Because the distinctive leaves and fruit of the two species of mulberry will not be visible at this time of year, we will look at other features of the Morus species and delve into the history of mulberries in England.

The walk starts at Kensington High Street tube station and explores some of the nearby streets and squares that have (black) mulberries. We will pass beneath a 70-year-old black mulberry growing in the famous Roof Gardens at the top of what used to be the Derry & Toms department store on Kensington High Street. The gardens are closed until next year, but we will schedule a visit as soon as they reopen.  

In Kensington Gardens we will spend some time exploring its unique avenue of mulberries, before walking through the park to Hyde Park Corner, to find a clutch of mature and recently planted mulberry trees there. On the way, we will pass iconic London scenery, both natural and architectural. Last time I was there I even saw a game of polo…

The walk finishes at Hyde Park Corner tube station, which is also on several bus routes.

Booking is essential. For more details and to book a place, click here 

 

Mulberry by Peter Coles is published by Reaktion Books (2019)

Mulberry by Peter Coles is published by Reaktion Books. 

Available from your local independent bookseller, or online.

 

 

Find out more

Midweek Mulberries: Lewisham

13th February 2019

 

This walk uses two old mulberry trees to help reveal Lewisham's fascinating history. We start at the site of Lewisham's Silk Mills which once stood on the banks of the Ravensbourne River. Silkworms will only feed on the leaves of the mulberry tree, but this silk mill used imported yarn. Once a major employer in the area - Girls as young as 11-13 worked long hours - the Silk Mills produced silk for buttons and ribbons. All that is left today are evocative street names, like Silk Mills Path, but the presence of the mill can be seen in local topgraphy.

We then cross the Ravensbourne to the site of other long-lost mills near to Elmira Street. The recent housing development around Prendergast Vale School replaced a previous 1960s development which in turn grew up on the site of mill works and Victorian housing. All that remains is a wonderful 150-year-old black mulberry tree, that once stood in the playground of a Victorian boys’ school.

The walk continues through Victorian streets parallel to the Ravensbourne River, ending at the former Ladywell Vicarage (now an NHS facility). Built in the late 17th century by Rev. Stanhope,, the building has been developed and extended twice. But hidden from view at the rear is a rare, sprawling black mulberry tree that is anywhere between 150 and 300 years old. Possibly one of the oldest in South London. We will have privileged access to the tree, which is usually closed to the public. Nearby we can see some imposing and eccentric Victorian architecture.

 

Meet at Elverson Road DLR, footbridge on Platform 1 side at 12.00 noon.

The walk finishes within easy reach of Ladywell train station and major bus routes, or a 10-minute walk to Lewisham railstation.

For booking and further details click here

 

"Midweek Mulberries" is a series of lunchtime walks led by Dr Peter Coles, co-founder and chief researcher of the Morus Londinium project. Peter is Visiting Fellow at Goldsmiths University of London and the author of "Mulberry", a global cultural history, to be published by Reaktion Books this autumn. 

 

Find out more

Midweek Mulberries

16th January 2019

16th January 2019  Meet up Belsize Park Tube at 12.30 (noon).

 

This lunchtime walk led by Morus Londinium's driving force, Peter Coles, starts at Belsize Park Tube station and ends at Hampstead Tube station (both on the Northern Line) around 1.30 pm.

Linking up some old and some-not-so-old mulberry trees, we explore this historic part of northwest London, with its village atmosphere and heritage of writers, artists, musicians... and celebrities. Starting at Belsize Park, we pay homage to an old black mulberry tree on a street corner, once near the entrance to the 17th century Belsize  House, with its celebrated Pleasure Garden.

 

A short walk away is Keats House, home of the romantic poet John Keats, who would have known the fabulous, reclining old mulberry tree in the front garden when it was still upright and a good bit youmger. Did he compose Ode to a Nightingale under it?

Passing an unexpected mulberry tree in a garden a hundred yards away and another at the top of Willow Road, we walk through Hampstead village and along Church Row, one of the finest Georgian streets in London. It was once home to Lord Alfred Douglas (Oscar Wilde’s lover), H.G. Wells and comic Peter Cook.

Behind St John's church in Frognal Way is the last mulberry on our walk, overhanging a wall. For those with a bit more time,  the churchyard of St John’s church has some magnificent seet chestnut, yew and hooly trees, as well as the tomb of celebrated landscape artist, John Constable.

Having worked up an appetite, the nearby Holly Bush pub is just one of  many eateries in Hampstead that serve a good lunch. Take the Tube back from Hampstead station, or explore some more of the village down Rosslyn Hill to Belsize Park.

This walk is about 1.5 miles and is uphill for some (but not all) of the way.

To book:

http://www.museumofwalking.org.uk/events/midweek-mulberries-belsize-park-to-hampstead/

 

 

 

 

Find out more

Midweek Mulberry Walk

12th December 2018

This fascinating walk roams around royal palaces (past and present), with their abundant heritage of mulberry trees (past and present).
 
Although mulberry trees pre-dated James I / VI and his silk project of 1607/8, this walk  bears the stamp of his legacy of mulberry trees – and his namesake. We take in St James’s church, St James’s Square, St James’s Palace, the site of King James’s Mulberry garden, St James’s Park, ending up at Westminster Abbey and its monastic College Garden, the oldest surviving infirmary garden, with its two mulberries. If we're lucky we mightl catch marching guards at St James's palace, a few notes of a lunchtime concert at St James's church and the unexpected at Westminster Abbey. Join us for five hundred years of history and ten mulberry trees.
 
Led by Morus Londinium's co-founder Peter Coles, the walk starts at Green Park tube station (south exit) at 12.30 and ends at Westminster Abbey at 1.30pm.
Places are limited and  booking is essential. 
For further details and to book a place visit the Museum of Walking here.

 

Find out more

Midweek Mulberry Walk

21st November 2018

Together with the Museum of Walking, we have created a new series of mideweek mulberry walks on Wednesday lunchtimes. As we try them out during the winter they will be monthly. When the weather gets better in Spring - and according to the response - we will make them fortnightly and, who knows, even weekly...

We kick off with a fantastic new walk, starting off in Clerkenwell, where there was once a Mulberry Garden, complete with nine-pin bowling alley (hence Bowling Green Lane). There are still lovely little parks here, one with its own white mulberry tree. Nearby is the head of the New River, created by Hugh Mydellton and opened in 1613, soon after James I's massive importation of mulberry trees for his silk project around 1609.

From our position high up on the left bank of the Fleet River, which flows under Faringdon Street, we cross over (and listen to the Fleet through a drain cover), walk to Gray's Inn and then Lincoln's Inn, each with their own mulberry trees and hidden gardens. After visting the  poetic and secluded Fountain Court  in Middle Temple, we finish out walk in the Inner Temple Garden,

A walk punctuated with mulberries, hidden rivers, hidden gardens and the esoteric world of the law courts, led by Dr Peter Coles, co-founder of Morus Londinium and editor of the website.

For tickets and information, visit the Museum of Walking website.

 

 

Find out more

East End mulberry heritage walk

23rd September 2018

Join us on Sunday 23rd September from 11 am to 1 pm for a guided walk to some little-known mulbery trees in London's East End, from Stepney to Victoria Park, led by  Morus Londinium's co-founder, Peter Coles.  Discover a fascinating part of London,  learn about mulberry trees and London's 2000-year-old mulberry heritage.

Please click here for more details and to book a place.

 

 

 

Three Parks Mulberry Walk

28th July 2018

 

29th July 2018 3 pm - 5 pm  (free)

Meet at West Dulwich railway station

 

As part of National Parks City walk, Morus Londinium's Peter Coles will lead a free walk in association with the Museum of Walking to look at mulberry trees in three of London's parks - Belair, Brockwell and Myatt's Fields, as well as taking in two old mulberries in  the grounds of Dulwich Picture Gallery

 

The walk is free but places are limited, so you'll need to book (click on the link)

 

 

Self guided | A Marvellous Mulberry Monastery Walk

Follow this short self-guided walk, for mobiles and PCs. You'll uncover mulberry trees, young and old, on the sites of former monasteries in London's 'Square Mile'.

Find out more

The Bethnal Green Mulberry Lecture

20th March 2018

Peters Coles and Julian Forbes Laird examine the Bethnal Green Mulberry tree in the grounds of the former London Chest Hospital. This event is NOT part of the Morus Londinium project.

Find out more

Self guided | Charlton House to Sayes Court Park

A self-guided walk from Charlton House to the green surroundings of Greenwich Park, the university, and if you are feeling energetic, onwards to Deptford

Find out more

Love Forty Hall Park Day mulberry events

22nd July 2017

Celebrate all things Forty Hall, including their marvellous mulberries, on Saturday 22nd July. Morus Londinium will be running a special craft workshop that tells the tale of London's mulberries and silk worms, whilst Dr Peter Coles will be revealing the history of the estate and tree, as part of Love Forty Hall Park Day.

Find out more

Morus Londinium Installation

20th May 2017

Reflect on two of London's oldest mulberry trees and their stories with installations this summer, from May 20th, at Charlton House in Greenwich and Forty Hall in Enfield.

Charlton House & Greenwich Guided Walk

28th May 2017

Explore the marvellous mulberry heritage, and the story it can tell, of Greenwich and the surrounding area with Dr Peter Coles, including the university, Queens Orchard and other sites. The walk will start at the old mulberry tree at the entrance to Charlton House at 11am on Sunday May 28th, before finishing in Sayes Court in Deptford. The guided walk is free but booking is essential.

Find out more

Stalking Trees: Migrants, mulberries and silk weavers

15th May 2017

Peter Coles will lead a guided walk, "Stalking Trees - Migrants, mulberries and silk weavers", as part of the London Metropolitan Archives: Word on the Street Festival. The walk goes from Spitalfields to Shoreditch, participants will seek out remnants of mulberries whilst exploring the area's Huguenot heritage. The guided walk costs £10 and is supported by the London Metropolitan Archives

Find out more

Mulberry Walk and Harvest with The Urban Orchard Project

3rd August 2016

Come and explore the rich fruit heritage of London with Morus Londinium and The Urban Orchard Project. Join in on this guided walk to hear about the history of Mulberries in West Square and the young orchard in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth. The walk will end with a Mulberry Harvest in the gardener's yard at Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park. The guided walk is free and will start at West Square on August 3rd at 12.30pm, no booking needed.

Greenwich Guided Walk

17th July 2016

Explore the marvellous mulberry heritage, and the story it can tell, of Greenwich and the surrounding area with Dr Peter Coles, including Sayes Court, the university, Queens Orchard and other sites. The walk will start at Deptford Overground station on July 17th at noon, before finishing at the Observatory cafe. The guided walk is free but booking is essential.

The City

31st May 2016

Discover the tales told by London's mulberry tree heritage after work with a free guided walk by Peter Coles to launch The Conservation Foundation's Morus Londinium project and celebrate London Tree Week. Peter will explore some of the Square Mile's heritage mulberry sites, and the area's wider history, before finishing with mulberry-themed refreshments.

Find out more
'; }