Pride of Passage: Strawberry Hill, Sexuality and the Grand Tour

World Monuments Fund Britain's annual Paul Mellon Lecture (UK), in partnership with Strawberry Hill House and Queer Britain

Strawberry Hill ceiling details

Last year, World Monuments Fund (WMF) announced a commitment to underrepresented heritage as one of three global priorities. This year is significant for the Pride movement and the LGBTQ+ community as it marks 50 years since the first Pride took place in the United Kingdom. Join WMF Britain for its annual Paul Mellon Lecture (UK), in partnership with Strawberry Hill House and Queer Britain.

This special event takes a fresh look at Horace Walpole, the creator of the "little Gothic castle” at Strawberry Hill, his sexuality, and the liberating impact of the Grand Tour, exploring research into the correspondence between his network of friends and acquaintances, which has informed the interpretation of the house and collection. The discussion will also address the importance of telling historical LGBTQ+ narratives across the cultural sector, ensuring these stories are preserved, understood, and celebrated.

The event, hosted by John Darlington, Executive Director at WMF Britain, will spotlight WMF’s focus on underrepresented heritage and its involvement at Strawberry Hill. Dan Vo, Head of Learning and Engagement at Queer Britain will join Joseph Galliano, Director and Co-Founder of Queer Britain in conversation, taking the audience on their own Grand Tour from Walpole to the UK’s first LGBTQ+ museum.  The event will include a Q&A with both speakers.

Queer people have impacted every part of culture, yet all too often their lives have been written in the margins of history books.” —Queer Britain

Date: Thursday 29th June 2022
Time: 7:00pm-8:00pm
Venue: London Library, 14 St. James’ Square, SW1Y 4LG


This event is made possible by The Paul Mellon Fund for Architectural Preservation in Great Britain.

Speaker Bios


John Darlington
John Darlington is Executive Director of World Monuments Fund in Britain. He is an archaeologist, author, and Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries with over 30 years’ experience of heritage conservation in the UK and internationally. Prior to joining WMF, John was Regional Director for the National Trust in Northwest England and County Archaeologist for Lancashire.

Joseph Galliano
Joseph Galliano is Director and Co-Founder of Queer Britain. He is a fundraiser, journalist, former editor of Gay Times magazine, and third sector ambassador manager who has just opened the UK's first national LGBTQ+ museum, Queer Britain, at 2 Granary Square, Kings Cross, N1C 4BH.

Dan Vo
Dan Vo is Head of Learning and Engagement at Queer Britain and Project Manager of the Queer Heritage and Collections Network. He founded the award-winning volunteer-led V&A LGBTQ+ Tours and has developed LGBTQ+ programmes for the National Gallery, National Galleries of Scotland, National Museum Wales, and the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, among others