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Gerald and Margaret Hull are lecturers who have taught in colleges and schools in London, Wales, and Ireland. Gerald, a Londoner, has a PhD from the University of Wales and is, separately, a published poet in Ireland and Cornwall. Indeed, it was in Cornwall and the west of England (to where they moved in 2007 after buying an old church) that they developed their interest in historical landscape gardening, grottoes and specifically shell houses.  


Margaret has become an acknowledged expert on shell houses/shell decoration and has met and documented every major artist and practitioner in the field. Now based in Bath, they have lectured extensively on this and related subjects (averaging 20 a year since 2013) in England, Wales and Ireland including BRLSI, the National Trust, Dillington House, the BBC (Bristol), Cheltenham, the Irish Georgian Society in London and Dublin, Endsleigh House Georgiana Society, Dorset Gardens Trust and the St Ives Literary Festival. In early 2019 they completed an 8-venue tour of Gloucestershire and Wales.


This husband and wife duo tour the British Isles continually recording shell houses, grottoes and associated shell work, and, inevitably – and increasingly - have visited the Mediterranean (Cyprus, Malta, Corfu etc) Italy, Germany, Austria, Spain and the Channel Islands on their researches. Margaret was recently given special license in St Petersburg for her studies.


Margaret’s diaries, notebooks, interviews, photography, website documentation and research have led to three books with Gerald: Conchinilia Journey I, Conchinilia Journey I I, and Half Forgotten (the last a study of grottoes). They have also published Falling Into the Atlantic Islands,2019 (private) and Sailing to the Atlantic Islands (Bath), 2019 £5.00.


They are currently completing a commissioned biography of Lady Joyce Gascoigne, a major shell artist associated with Bermuda, Devon and the West Country in general.


Their illustrated talks – which last 45 minutes to an hour – are delivered with the wit and verve you would expect from two experienced professionals. They invariably work without notes and offer lively, colourful entertainment – an enriching experience. Having also holidayed on cruises from the Mediterranean to the Baltic – and beyond – they feel confident and enthusiastic about what they can offer.


Margaret Hull

BA(Joint Hons.), PGCE

Gerald Hull

Ph.D, MA, BA(Hons), PGCE

Margaret Is from an Anglo-Irish family in the West of Ireland. She has taught in London and Belfast while holding a joint degree in English/ Drama and Theatre Studies from the University of Wales.


She was head of Drama at Fivemiletown College in N. Ireland and while in Ireland acted and produced many plays, (notably at the Ardhowen Theatre, Enniskillen) including Shakespeare, Restoration, Wilde, O'Casey, Miller, Friel and Ayckbourn.

  • Parish Councillor in Cornwall for 5 years.

  • 2012 - 2017 toured Great Britain & Ireland photographing and recording over 100 landscape gardens, shell houses, hermitages and grottoes.

  • Member of National Trust and BCNT.

  • Member of BRLSI and lectured in Bath in 2016 and 2017.

  • Member of Georgian Society.

  • Member of The Folly Society.

  • Member of Avon Gardens Trust.

  • Mary Delany, west country shell houses and grottoes, the rare and eccentric architecture of Bath are favourite topics.

Poet Gerald Hull, a Londoner, holds a Ph.D from the University of Wales and spent over thirty years in Ireland where he was Head of English at Fivemiletown College in Tyrone. He gained bursaries from Poetry Ireland and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, held a range of journal editorships, and was involved in the development of Summer Schools on Oliver Goldsmith and William Carleton.

Gerald's work has featured on radio and in magazines. He has read and lectured at over 90 different locations throughout Ireland and Cornwall in the last 25 years. These include Poetry Festivals, universities, schools and colleges, summer schools, symposia, poetry workshops and radio. Along with his own poetry he has specialised in the Brontes, Victorian and Georgian verse, the Romantics, Emily Dickinson, the Carlyles, C19 Gothic and George Gissing. He has a solid working knowledge of Irish poetry from Yeats to Heaney.


Gerald's Publications: 

  • Windows Author and Artist Series (1994) n/a

  • Falling into Monaghan (1999) £5.99

  • Historiographilia (2002) n/a

  • Falling into Cornwall (2009) £10.00

  • Salthouse and Chapel (2010) £5.99

  • Graphohistoricity (2012) n/a

  • A Shared Experience (2013) n/a

  • Sailing to the Atlantic Islands (2019)

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