The JOSEPH DALTON HOOKER Bicentenary

Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker was one of the greatest British botanists and explorers of the 19th century. He was Charles Darwin’s closest friend and encouraged and supported Darwin when he wrote ‘The Origin of Species’. For twenty years he served as director of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, succeeding his father, Sir William Hooker, and was awarded the highest honours of British science. Joseph Hooker travelled and worked as a surgeon and botanist on a voyage from Antarctica to the Himalayas. He sent home the first Rhododendron. Sarcococca Hookeriana (common name Sweet Christmas Box) was named after him.

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The 19th century Hooker House in Halesworth, formerly known as Brewery House, was once about twice its present size with spacious gardens stretching down to the river, magnificent gardens now lost, alas. Sir William lived here and Joseph was born in the house in 1817.   To celebrate this connection,  Halesworth in Bloom* has developed the ‘Hooker Trail’.   In collaboration with Kew Gardens, his Bicentenary (30 June 2017)  will be saluted with an updated Trail.  See programme of activities and events below and the Halesworth in Bloom website.

* HALESWORTH IN BLOOM is a group of volunteers aiming to improve the environmental quality of Halesworth. Its aim is to improve the looks of the area as well as supporting biodiversity, while increasing community participation. The Town Park has been transformed by their hard work and now has a green flag award. They have  added colour to all parts of the town, gaining Gold Awards three years in a row and Best Small Town in East Anglia.