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English Heriage Recognising Woman Garden Designer

The Metropolitan Public Gardens Associates unveiled a Blue Plaque for Fanny Rollo Wilkinson. This event was attended by several Guild Members including Alison McTamney and The Royal Parks’ Theresa Short (Assitant Park Manager, Kensington Gardens)

English Heritage has awarded a Blue Plaque to Fanny Wilkinson, who was the MPGA’s garden designer in its early years. We are delighted that Rachel de Thame launched the blue plaque on 7th June at 3pm.

Fanny was the first woman professional Landscape Gardener in England and paved the way for women to enter the profession, which until then had been a strictly male preserve. She worked at the MPGA for approximately 20 years from 1884 to 1904. During this time she designed more than 75 public gardens throughout London, from large parks to small churchyards, often supervising sizeable groups of unemployed men. Her biggest project was Myatts Fields in Camberwell – other major sites being Meath Gardens in Tower Hamlets and Vauxhall Park in Lambeth.

She was an outstanding individual and very much ahead of her time. We are delighted that she has now been recognised by English Heritage with this prestigious award.

We had a very good turn out of around eighty guests and a wonderful line up of speakers, namely Rachel de Thame, Rebecca Preston and Jeanie Northover, Fanny’s great great niece, all introduced by Wesley Kerr with MPGA’s Chairman, Rex Thornborough, rounding off the proceedings with a vote of thanks. The reception was held at the Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, directly opposite the plaque. After the speeches, afternoon tea was served along with a glass of Pimms. We’ve had some wonderful feedback, especially from the lady gardeners who were out in force, around twenty, who have all benefited from Fanny’s legacy.

Shirley Brihi – MPGA Committee Member – host of the event and key to making the blue plaque happen!

Fanny Wilkinson Blue Plaque Presentation

Fanny Wilkinson Blue Plaque Presentation

Fanny Wilkinson Blue Plaque Presentation

Fanny Wilkinson Blue Plaque Presentation

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