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. 


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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:






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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.


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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.



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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'.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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