Skip to main content

The Medicinal Garden of the Royal College of Physicians and a Brief History of the Role of Plants in Medicine (Live lecture)

Monday, 11 March '24   5:30pm – 7pm GMT
Francis Holland School, Sloane Square, 39 Graham Terrace, London, SW1W 8JF
20 spaces available
The Medicinal Garden of the Royal College of Physicians and a Brief History of the Role of Plants in Medicine (Live lecture)


Speaker: Professor John Newton - Garden Fellow, Royal College of Physicians.

The Royal College of Physicians was founded in 1518 and continues to promote standards in medicine around the world.  The current Medicinal Garden at the College originates from around 2004 following a deliberate decision to create something exceptional in terms of a modern medicinal garden.  The garden is widely recognised as one of the most unusual and important gardens in the UK and is internationally recognised and hugely valuable as a knowledge resource.  It is the focus for the work of eleven Garden Fellows all active in various fields, for a series of medicinal plant lectures from leading experts and for an impressive stream of publications. 

The garden has a strong educational focus: it welcomes 1200-1500 people each year on organised garden tours, participates in workshops for school groups and staff members, and invites students to visit accompanied by their own teachers or on their own. It is a haven for bird and insect life so important as we are in the midst of a biodiversity crisis.

The talk will cover the history of the garden, the role of plants in medicine historically and in the present day, and highlight some specific plants of interest as the sources of modern medicines.

Professor John Newton, FRCP FFPH FRSPH, has been a Garden Fellow at the Royal College of Physicians since 2012 and the lead Garden Fellow since 2021.  He teaches in the Medicinal Garden with an especial interest in the use of evidence in relation to plants and medicine and how it has been understood and used over the centuries.  He has a related interest in designing and cultivating a garden that is resistant to large grazing herbivores, namely fallow deer!

Prof. Newton is a public health physician and epidemiologist currently working as Director of Public Health Analysis at the Department of Health and Social Care and Professor of Public Health and Epidemiology at the University of Exeter, Centre for Environment and Human Health.   In 2020, he co-ordinated the national programme to increase coronavirus testing in response to the pandemic and oversaw the Government’s coronavirus dashboard.  He is also Professor of Public Health at the University of Manchester, and President of the Scientific Council of Santé publique France and was recently Vice President of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal College of Physicians.

Photo: The Royal College of Physicians

Tickets Bookable until 12:00pm, Friday 8 March


Please arrive at the school at 17:30 for a 18:00 start.
Refreshments (wine and nibbles) will be available.
Please note that the lecture room is accessed via a flight of stairs.
The nearest tube station is Sloane Square.
The lecture will also be streamed live and the link will be sent to all ticket bookers the following day with the lecture available to watch online for a week.



Live Lecture Ticket

20 available until Mon 11 Mar 5:45pm
Your ticket entitles you to attend the live lecture at The Frances Holland School as well as access to a recording of the event for as week after.


Francis Holland School, Sloane Square
39 Graham Terrace

Please note that this venue is not suitable for those with mobility issues as there is a flight of stairs to climb to reach the lecture theatre.