Louisa Ryland and Cannon Hill Park

Thursday 16 May 2024 (19:00-20:30)

Dr Imogen Peck: i.f.m.peck@bham.ac.uk

Centre for Midlands History and Cultures Seminar

Speaker: Irene De Boo (Birmingham Heritage Week) 

During her lifetime she donated millions to the city; she paid for hospitals, churches & schools and provided half of the funds to build the magnificent Birmingham School of Art. She also donated the land for Birmingham's premier park, Cannon Hill, and Small Heath Park. She paid for the laying out, digging of the lakes, refreshment rooms and planting in both parks. Considering her many long-lasting public gifts to the city, Louisa Ryland is not very well known. This talk will look at the life and wealth of this remarkable female Victorian philanthropist.  

Irene de Boo has worked in the Birmingham Museums and Heritage sector since moving to Birmingham from the Netherlands. She joined the museum service in 1997 as Birmingham History Curator and a few years later took on the role of Curator/Manager for Blakesley Hall, Sarehole Mill and Weoley Castle where she delivered several capital projects and was responsible for the day-to-day management of the properties. In 2014 Irene moved to the Black Country Living Museum where she was Head of Collections. Since 2019 she has been working on a freelance basis on various heritage projects in the Birmingham area.