Mapping Upton

The original artwork used in the 'Britain First' Shell Poster

This year, Upton House and Gardens is partnering with local schools and colleges on a project called ‘Mapping Upton’.

This project was inspired by the National Portrait Gallery exhibition, ‘Faces of Change: Nature’s Champions’, which we are very excited to be hosting here at Upton House and Gardens from 21 September – 9 December 2019.

At Upton, we believe that children are nature’s biggest champions.  We want to take this fantastic opportunity to put Upton House and Gardens ‘on the map’ with local schoolchildren as a place of conservation and inspiration that’s on their doorstep and always open to them.

Between now and the end of September, we will be opening our doors to our local schools, to use our house and grounds as a beautiful setting in which to enrich their curricular activities, and learn more about their local NT property.

Look out for a display of these children’s work in the Pavilion restaurant from October!

Students from Banbury college have created posters inspired by the Shell posters of the 1930s
A poster inspired by the shell posters of the 1930s
Students from Banbury college have created posters inspired by the Shell posters of the 1930s

Banbury College interpretation

We've also been working with students from Banbury College. The students took inspiration from the history of Upton House and Gardens, which was owned by Walter Samuel; 2nd Viscount Bearsted and Chairman of Shell Oil in the 1920s-30s.

They created their own posters based on iconic Shell Oil advertising from this period, and the NT’s 2019 theme of ‘People’s Landscapes’.  These eye-catching posters capture aspects of Upton House, their Banbury hometown, and other places in the U.K. that are special to them.  Some students produced environmental responses such as the destruction caused by oil spills, which we have displayed alongside this patchwork of loved and protected places.

There will be original Shell Oil posters on display in the house from 21 September – 9 December 2019 as part of the National Portrait Gallery exhibition hosted at Upton, ‘Faces of Change: Nature’s Champions’.