2020 – 2021 Milton Heritage Society talks

Friday 12th March 2021

Sadly owing to Covid restrictions we will not be able to hold the advertised talk on the history of falconry. It will be replaced by our previously postponed talk on the history of Exbury Gardens.

 The history of falconry presentation will be rescheduled to later in the year.

Thomas Clarke – Head Gardener, Exbury Estate
The History of Exbury Gardens, and Rothschild’s influence on plant
collecting and horticulture
The early part of the 20th century was the golden age of woodland gardening and at the forefront of this was Lionel de Rothschild – ‘gardener by trade and banker by hobby’, as he famously described himself. He spent 20 years and a small fortune creating Exbury Gardens in the New Forest, world famous for its Rhododendrons and Azaleas. Lionel also sponsored some of the great plant hunters who traversed the globe in search of plants, some of which may still be found dotted amongst Exbury’s secluded glades and sweeping vistas. Join Exbury’s current Head
Gardener, Thomas Clarke, as he presents an illustrated talk on its history and creation as he lifts the lid on this fascinating chapter of Edwardian garden history.
A professional horticulturalist for 27 years, Thomas was an apprentice with the National Trust and specialised in woodland gardens and woody plants. He became Head Gardener at Trelissick near Truro before moving to Exbury 4 years ago. He has been on various expeditions to North East India looking for Rhododendrons and is interested in the temperate woodland flora of Asia. Thomas is a member of the RHS Camellia, Rhododendron and Magnolia Group, International Dendrological Society and a director of the British branch of the International Camellia Society.

MHS members will be e mailed with details of how to join the Zoom talk. Non-members who wish to see the talk should contact the MHS Secretary, Steve West  via

The MHS talks for the 2021 to 2022 season are currently being arranged. The full list of presentations will be posted on the website when the speakers have been confirmed.  

Do you have an local history talk that you think will be of interest to members of  Milton Heritage Society. Have you heard a presentation on local history or heritage relevant to New Milton and district? Our Speaker & Events Secretary, John Lay-Flurrie would love to hear from you by email via ‘’ or on 01425 629874.