Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sir Hans Sloane and the Chelsea Physic Garden

On leaving my last job my colleagues very kindly bought me RHS gift membership which allows for free visits to the Chelsea Physic Garden.
The Chelsea Physic garden is the second oldest 'Garden' of it's kind in the UK (the oldest is in Oxford) - It's a Physic garden as it was created to research and grow horticultural cures for ailments.

Yesterday I did a short tour and learnt some fascinating facts.
1) Agatha Christie doyen of the crime story studied at the gardens and undoubtedly picked up some good methods of poisoning.
2) Apothecaries who at the time of the Black Death remained in London long after the 'posh' doctors fled wore covers on their noses like beaks - hence the term quacks (perhaps)
3) Bruce Forsyth's great grandfather was the man behind the Forsythia (and a bigamist - gosh two mother in laws!)
Sir Hans Sloane an Irish Physician who introduce the idea of drinking chocolate to London and was a philanthropist, who donated funds to the British Museum as well as bankrolling the gardens (ensuring they only paid a £5 a year rent). The gardens  were private until late in the last century when they became a charity.
Reflecting on Richard Wilson
I did pop into the Saatchi Gallery while I was in the Sloane square area, interesting to see a new Lebanese Café chain will be opening premises close to the gallery  soon . Saw my favourite Richard Wilson work again.

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