William Hogarth Trust
registered charity no.1092251

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Birds in pots

The bird bottle (top right) on the 19th century Bell & crown print

Treve Rosoman, our late Vice-Chairman, was THE expert on the 18th century home, its furnishing and equipment. Lars Tharp, formerly one of WHT’s trustees, has become THE expert in all kinds of ceramics relating to Hogarth. Treve spotted bird pots in 18th century prints and with Lars’ help the Trust was able to commission a small batch of hand-made terracotta bird pots, replicas of those used in 18th century London. We have since also spotted one on the wall of the Bell & Crown at Strand on the Green in a mid-19th century print.

One was placed high on the facade of Hogarth’s House in 2011, but no-one has yet moved in! The pots were to be sold to raise funds, but few were bought. We hope they will be on sale again when the House re-opens.

One bird pot was bought for a Chiswick garden and has since been ignored, but another went to an Isleworth garden and we are delighted to report that a robin has this spring made a nest in this pot.

The bottles have a wide open front throught which the bird can enter, with a lug and a hole supporting a twig as a perch. The hollow flat side, which hangs against the wall, is open so that the bottle beside a window could be lifted off its nail for the householder to take the eggs or the fledglings to eat. A cheap source of food in the past but not today!

Robin in Isleworth bird pot 2020, photo by Stephen Hine

Read Roy Stephenson’s fascinating piece on bird bottles from London excavations in the London Archaeologist Vol 6 (12), pp. 320-321.

Garden developments

It has been a while since we posted an update here; more info can be found on our twitter account @HogarthProgress.

The Trust continues to support The Mulberry Garden Project at Hogarth’s House. One of our main tasks has been writing grant applications, over 30 of them now. Funds are still needed over the next frew years to support the learning and activities programme and the staff who will run them, as well as covering the shortfall in capital for the building and landscaping works. Hounslow Council has generously guaranteed the sums needed to enable work to progress.

The learning studio is nearing completion and work is in progress on the garden. New paths are being laid and the handsome frame for the hazel nut-walk had been made by artist-blacksmith James Price of East Chiltington and is now in place. It incoporates elegant serpentine bars echoing Hogarth’s “Line of Beauty” as well as iron mulberry leaves.I

Intsalling the nut-walk frame which will have a Georgian-style skittle ground at the far end. The new learning studio can be seen beyond

The nursery gardener who worked Hogarth’s House and part of the adjoining property as a garden ground in the 1890s had a small glasshouse against the north wall. A new one has been constructed on the same site, for use by the team of volunteer gardeners who will be recruited and trained to care for and present the garden for the delight of visitors. In the photo you can see the timber bothy taking shape; this will be the garden team’s base.

The newly-installed glass house against the north wall

A series of points in the garden have been given beautiful carved stone markers, commissioned from Fiona & Alec Peever Lettering and Sculpture. These will provide places for visitors to pause in a planned series of trails.

The beautiful slate markers made by the Peevers – spot the stable, the studio, the skittle ground, the mulberry, and so on

It is exciting to know that the building will probably be handed over in Deceber and a formal opening will take place in 2020.