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Exhibition highlights Marnock’s impact on Sheffield’s landscape

group of people in a meeting room discussing the Marnock Exhibition

Sheffield Botanical Gardens is partnering with the Gardens Trust to celebrate Scottish landscape gardener, horticulturalist, and writer Robert Marnock who lived from 1800 to 1889.

Throughout June there will be a programme of events Celebrating Marnock at Sheffield Botanical Gardens, Weston Park, and Sheffield General Cemetery, which are all Marnock sites. Activities will also be happening nationwide across the summer of 2023, with Marnock sites all over Britain taking part.

The events explore Marnock’s life, the sites he shaped, his influence and the social and cultural contexts he worked in. As well as being a designer and curator of Botanical Gardens in Sheffield and London, Marnock undertook a substantial number of private commissions across the country, plus sites in Italy and Belgium. He had a significant impact on the landscape of Sheffield and elsewhere and was one of the most prolific and celebrated landscape gardeners of the 19th century.

Every weekend in June the Celebrating Marnock exhibition will be open at the Dorothy Fox Education Centre in Sheffield Botanical Gardens. This exhibition includes the fantastic opportunity to view original copies of Robert Marnock’s hand-coloured ‘Floricultural Magazine’ which he produced whilst curator of the Gardens.

The exhibition highlights the stories of these incredible places and events include:

  • A wellbeing walk where you can hear about the origins of the public museum in Weston Park
  • Holly planting in Sheffield General Cemetery Heritage Park
  • Victorian bouquet making and felt garden design in Sheffield Botanical Gardens

Councillor Richard Williams, Chair of Communities, Parks and Leisure Committee at Sheffield City Council, said: “There are so many places in Sheffield where you can be walking through a Marnock landscape and not know it. Sheffield’s history and heritage continues to inspire me, I had not heard of Robert Marnock until the creation of this exhibition and to learn more about just how much he shaped the wonderful parks and heritage centres that we have today is quite something. This is such an interesting exhibition, and we have the whole of June to have some fun learning more about how these beautiful parks and gardens were created all the way back in the 1800s.”

Jill Sinclair, from the Gardens Trust, said: “Marnock was such a successful designer, and a well-loved man. We're delighted to be helping restore his reputation. Sites from north of Aberdeen to the south coast of England and the west coast of Wales have links with Marnock, many of them being celebrated for the first time.” 

For information:

  • The exhibition’s activities are all free and for a wide audience including heritage enthusiasts, gardeners, children and families. There is a trail and there will be plants to buy, a range of talks and tours and activities for children.
  • More information about the Sheffield and national programme of events is at, which includes activities details, the trail map, and the map of Marnock sites across the country.