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Get into summer this month with a host of must-see exhibitions and events

Scots guard A 16th-century manuscript providing an insight into life in the Highlands in the later Middle Ages has been bought by the National Library of Scotland at auction for £25,000.

The Chronicle of Fortingall is an important source for the social, political, cultural, economic and religious history of northern Scotland.

Working scribes belonging to the MacGregor family created the manuscript between 1554 and 1579 at Fortingall in Perthshire, having previously compiled the Book of the Dean of Lismore – the earliest surviving collection of Gaelic poetry.

Pot on The potter Norah Braden (1901-2001), considered by the renowned ceramicist Bernard Leach (1887-1979) to be his most gifted pupil, is celebrated at a new exhibition in the Cotswolds this summer.

Pioneers: 101 years of the Leach Pottery, on until September 25 at Chipping Campden’s Court Barn, showcases the UK’s leading 20th-century potters, including Braden who was so critical of her work she destroyed many of her pots.

Leach and his Japanese colleague Shoji Hamada (18941978) established a pottery near St Ives in 1920 taking on pupils and apprentices including Michael Cardew, Katherine Pleydell Bouverie, Kenneth Quick and William and Scott Marshall, all of whose work is included in the exhibition.

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Above Norah Braden (1901-2001), c. 1930, stoneware, Kilmington Pottery

Right Strawberry Hill House will be transformed, photo by Julian Coe

Left The important manuscript has been bought by the National Library of Scotland

Below right José Campeche y Jordán (1751-1809) Portrait of a Lady, c. 1800 1805, © The Henry Barber Trust

Below far right Self portrait by José Campeche y Jordán (1751-1809)

FLOWER TOWER Plans for Horace Walpole’s gothic revival villa Strawberry Hill House in Twickenham to be the backdrop for a flower festival this autumn have been unveiled.

As part of the third Flower Festival, 30 florists and designers will each style one room of the west London ‘castle’ Walpole started in 1749 to which he added towers and battlements to better display his Grand Tour collection.

Walpole, the son Britain’s first prime minister Sir Robert Walpole, was a pivotal figure in 18th-century society, literature, art and architecture.

Strawberry Hill House patron, Alan Titchmarsh , said: “Part interior design exhibition, part art installation, the festival will be a unique opportunity to learn how to transform your home and garden.” The festival runs from October 8-10, for more information visit

American beauty A painting once believed to be by the Spanish master Francisco de Goya (1746-1828) of his mother has gone on show in Birmingham under the name of its actual creator.

The portrait of stern-looking woman has been reattributed to the Puerto Rican artist José Campeche y Jordán (1751-1809). It is thought to be his only work outside the Americas.

Portrait of a Lady (c.1800-1805) has been in the Barber Institute of Fine Arts’ collection since 1940, when it was acquired with two letters allegedly from Goya both later revealed as fake. Campeche (right) was the son of a freed black slave from Puerto Rico. Another of his works can be seen in the Brooklyn Museum, New York.


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