Presentations and Private Tours

Presentations and Private Tours

Since publishing “A Complete History of The Tower of Esher – a William Wayneflete Landmark” in 2010, Penny has been giving PowerPoint presentations to local societies and groups, including Probus, University of the Third Age (U3A) and the Womens’ Institute. The talks are specifically related to the Tower, its history and its residents. The presentations are bespoke and can be tailored to suit an individual group’s requirements. Additionally, Penny also gives talks on William Kent and Lady Helen D’Abernon.

William Kent was an extraordinarily versatile designer, who is perhaps best remembered for his contribution to Neo-Palladian architecture, but he was also the originator of the Gothic Revival and the founder of romantic naturalistic landscape gardening in England. Kent led a revolution that saw architecture, interior design and the English landscape transformed and it started in Esher. Penny’s “William Kent” presentation aims to firmly establish the architectural and historical significance of his commission for Henry Pelham at Esher.

Lady Helen D’Abernon was described by Lutyens as “a lovely Easter egg with nothing inside, terribly dilettante and altogether superficial” whilst the Aga Khan described her as “the most beautiful woman I ever knew, utterly unspoilt, simple, selfless, gay, brave and kind.” Penny’s presentation challenges Lutyens’ impression of Lady Helen and establishes her ambivalent life, which is set primarily against the backdrop of the First World War.

In 2012, Penny became a qualified guide lecturer at Hampton Court Palace, providing a further avenue for her to share her passion for English history. Accordingly, Penny is also available for private tours of the Palace.


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