Val Bott’s research interests relate to the area of Brentford and Chiswick where she lives. Some outcomes of her work appear as the Nursery Gardeners Archive at nurserygardeners.com and the William Hogarth Trust’s website.
Val’s recent research on Hogarth’s House, identifying its likely builders, the Hogarth family’s circle of friends and neighbours and most of the past occupants, was published by Scala Books in 2012. Val co-ordinated a major refurbishment and redisplay of the House, completed the previous year.
A research project for an exhibition at the House in 2013 was carried out with the help of three other members of the Brentford & Chiswick Local History Society. It generated more material than could be included in the exhibition and this formed the basis for Chiswick’s Children 1750-1800. Well illustrated and beautifully designed by Toni Marshall (who also designed Flood!), it was published by Heritage Publications (Hounslow Council).
Another book from Scala Publications, a history of Gunnersbury Park, written by James Wisdom and Val Bott, was published in March 2018. The fruit of their research over the last 35 years has been turned into a succinct narrative, beautifully designed and profusely illustrated, to mark the completion of the first phase of a substantial restoration programme at Gunnersbury.