Town puts spotlight on its famous son

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THE work of a Morpeth-born man known as The Father of English Botany will be examined at a conference in the town next week.

William Turner provided more than 300 first identifications of English native plants and wrote extensively on fish, birds, wine and medical baths. His travels in Europe during the Reformation were the source of many of his insights and observations.

In 2008, Morpeth celebrated the 500th anniversary of Turner’s birth with a series of events and lectures, leading to a great deal of new research which so far has not been available in the public domain.

Now the Friends of Carlisle Park, supported by Northumberland County Council and Greater Morpeth Development Trust, is hosting a one-day conference of walks and talks to explore and contextualise his seminal work in natural history during the 1540s.

The speakers include academics from Newcastle University and the Open University and the sessions look at Turner’s work on the natural history of birds and fishes, the Morpeth that he left behind, including some of the sites that would be recorded in his most famous work on plants A New Herball, and his travels in the Rhineland and East Friesland.

The William Turner in the 1540s event will take place on Saturday, September 17. Talks will take place in Morpeth Chantry and Morpeth Town Hall.

On Sunday, September 18, there will be a Turner walk to Lady Chapel in Bothal Woods, one of the sites referred to in A New Herball.

All the walks and talks are free but pre-booking is required.

For more information or to book your place, contact Nicola Wardle on 01670 533089 or email