The gardens around Reed Hall were originally laid out by the Veitch Family of Nurserymen (more information on Veitch and Reed can be found on our website). but their influence can be found all around Exeter.
The communities of St. David’s and St. Thomas have developed a Lamppost Trail, which stretches from Elm Grove Close, where Peter Veitch lived, to his place of burial in St. David’s churchyard. The trail follows specially renovated lampposts, taking in some of the beautiful plants and trees their plant collectors brought back from their travels. For more information, please see below.
Members of the Campus Services team have created this beautiful timeline. It is made from a section of the leaning Monterey Pine that stood at the top of the steps by Reed’s formal Italianate Garden. The timeline now stands where the tree once stood. The labels show when Reed Hall Gardens were laid out in the 1860s, when Reed was donated to the University in 1920 and when the University received its Royal Charter.
During the 1930s, St. Luke’s was used as a holiday centre over the Summer. The holiday centre was often staffed by the students and as well as waiting and other jobs, the students would spend up to 2 hours a day tending the gardens of the college. The flowers for the dining tables and many of the vegetables served to the holidaymakers were grown on-site.
As part of the Grand Challenges this year (1st – 5th June) a group of Exeter University took on the task of digitising the Devon Gardens Trust archive relating to the Veitch Family of Nurserymen and Streatham Campus.
For more information including timelines, profiles and interviews with Veitch historian, Caradoc Doy and our very own Director of Grounds, Iain Park, please visit the Grand Challenges page on the Devon Gardens Trust website.
Iain Park, the Director of Grounds at the University of Exeter has written an article featured in the latest issue of the Devon Gardens Trust newsletter about the historic campus at St. Luke’s.
This photo, taken around 1974-5 shows the colourful planting, at the front of Harrison. In the foreground you can see the shadows of scaffolding around Amory, which is under construction.
This picture is quite fascinating. An aerial shot from my handily titled ‘photos from 60s and 70s file’ so I am not sure when it was taken, but it must be pre-1974, as Amory hasn’t been built.
St. Luke’s College was open between 1839-1978 … and these are some of the gardeners, photographed in 1860!
St Luke’s gardeners – 1860