The following lectures were presented during 2011
The following visits were made during 2011
Sir Ernest George (1839 -1922) is best known as a Victorian architect for his larger country houses such as Batsford Park, Shiplake Court, Glencot, Eynsham Hall and Crathorne Hall and for his town houses in Kensington. However, his work also comprised smaller country houses, estate villages and contributions to housing schemes, including Port Sunlight. This lecture by Professor Grainger will concentrate on the smaller country houses, particularly in the Home Counties, so many of which influenced George’s pupils including Lutyens, Herbert Baker and Guy Dawber amongst others.
Professor Hilary J Grainger is a Dean of the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, having taught the history of architecture and design for over thirty years at the Universities of Leeds, Northumbria, Staffordshire, Keele and Wolverhampton. She is a leading authority on George and also on the architecture of British crematoria. Her book The Architecture of Sir Ernest George is to be published by Spire Books Ltd in early 2011. Hilary is the Chair of The Victorian Society.
Without question the most influential Gothic-revival architect in Britain in the last quarter of the 19th century, Bodley is usually assumed to have rejected the Arts ands Crafts movement out of hand, despite the fact that one of its most distinguished practitioners, C.R. Ashbee, was a pupil of his. In fact, Bodley’s close collaborations with William Morris in the 1860s reveal how intimately the early history of the movement was bound up with the Gothic revival, to a degree that is now often underestimated. This talk by Michael Hall will attempt to elucidate the relationship by investigating the way that Bodley’s buildings exemplify his beliefs about craft.
Michael Hall is Contributing Editor, Visual Arts, of Country Life. Author of Waddesdson Manor (2nd edition, 2009) and The Victorian Country House (2009), he is completing a book on G.F. Bodley.
Caroline Swash will cover the life and work of Henry Payne, who studied with Christopher Whall in London before setting up a new stained glass course at Birmingham School of Art. He established a considerable reputation as a glass artist and painter, attracting the attention of Earl Beauchamp who commissioned him to decorate his private chapel at Madresfield. He designed and crafted other windows in the Worcester area. He trained his son Edward in the craft of stained glass, passing on commissions to him. Edward’s career developed in interesting and varied ways as a practising glass artist with a studio in the village of Box. Most of his work can be seen in Gloucestershire and Norfolk.
Caroline Swash trained as a painter and fabric printer at Gloucestershire College of Art. Her father (Edward Payne) taught her the rudiments of stained glass craft. Her first major commission was for new stained glass in St Paul’s Church, Cleveland Ohio. Later windows may be seen in Gloucester, Portsmouth and Salisbury Cathedrals and St Barnabas Church, Dulwich. She currently teaches at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and is completing the definitive book on stained and contemporary architectural glass in London.
In 1891 the Wattses moved into their new home, Limnerslease, built by Sir Ernest George, in Compton. Limnerslease initially acted as an autumn and winter retreat but soon became their permanent base in which they lived and worked and developed their Arts and Crafts philosophy with the development of the Cemetery Chapel, Pottery and Watts Gallery. Mary Watts records that they referred to it as Limnerslease as ‘Limner’ would ‘keep the remembrance that it was built for an artist, and the word ‘lease’, as having a double meaning, for we played a little with the old English word ‘to leasen’, which means to glean, our hope being that there were golden years to be gleaned in this new home’. The lecture will explore this extraordinary building.
Mark Bills is Curator of Watts Gallery and was formerly Senior Curator of Paintings, Prints and Drawings at the Museum of London and Visual Arts Officer at the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum. He has published on 19th Century art and curated national and international exhibitions.
The American Arts and Crafts movement was in its heyday from 1900 to 1916 and sought to reform society through design. From architecture and furniture, to utopian communities and hand-wrought objects for the home, the movement had answers for all the necessities of everyday life. People were improved by living in surroundings stripped of Victorian clutter and dishonest “revival styles”. It drew inspiration from both the English Arts and Crafts movement and the earlier Aesthetic movement. The lecture by Fiona Rose features some of the major figures of the era including Gustav Stickley, the Roycroft Community and Frank Lloyd Wright.
After many years working for healthcare charities and the NHS, Fiona Rose turned her passion for the Arts and Crafts Movement into a business - Arts & Crafts Living - selling quality home furnishings inspired by American period designs and handmade by craftspeople and artisans in the USA.
Talwin Morris was an innovative designer, illustrator and designer of book covers in the Glasgow Style. Working for Blackie & Son between 1893 and his death in 1911, he was influenced by the art of his adopted city of Glasgow, as well as by European Art Nouveau. The Studio magazine featured his designs for furniture, metalware, jewellery and book covers alongside those of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Macdonald sisters. In his illustrated lecture David Brown will describe his journey in discovering Glasgow style books designed by Talwin Morris, finding that he was friends with the ‘Glasgow Four’ and that he had designed and produced in many areas of the decorative arts.
David Brown is a former art director now engaged in garden design. After twenty five years of researching Talwin Morris he holds a large collection of Morris’ work and is acknowledged as a leading expert in his subject. Examples by Talwin Morris and other book designers may be viewed during the evening.
Do bring your own items with you for a question and answer session
Tuesday 22 February 2011 14:00 – 16:30
The building now housing Prior’s Field School started life as a modest house, Prior’s Garth, designed by CFA Voysey and built, in 1900, by Voysey’s builder Frederick Müntzer for F.H. Chambers as a straightforward rectangular structure with a plain hipped roof. Chambers did not take up residence however but sold the house to Leonard and Julia Huxley. The school itself was founded in 1902 by Julia Huxley, a progressive educationalist, as a ‘High Class School for Girls’. Under the guidance of Michael Edwards we shall see the best parts of the original house containing many original features as well as later extensions (1904) on behalf of the school by Voysey’s pupil Thomas Müntzer. We shall also see the Rose Garden, which was laid out to designs by Gertrude Jekyll. Our tour will take in more recent developments at the school, including the School Library created from three classrooms within the Müntzer extensions by Michael Edwards Associates. The visit will end with tea provided by the school.
Thursday 14 April 2011 10:30 – 18:00
Kelmscott Manor, dating from the late 16th Century was the summer home of William Morris - poet, craftsman and socialist from 1871 until his death in 1896. The house contains an outstanding collection of the possessions and works of Morris, his family and associates, [Philip Webb, Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, JH Deane, WAS Benson and Ford Maddox Brown] including furniture, original textiles, pictures, carpets, ceramics and metalwork. We shall enjoy tea or coffee and biscuits on arrival followed by an introductory talk and guided tour of the Manor and then a two-course lunch with tea or coffee. After lunch, time may be spent exploring the garden and Kelmscott village to see buildings and sites which have Morris family connections before the short drive to Buscot Park.
Buscot Park, built 1780 to 1783, is the home of Lord Faringdon, who looks after the property on behalf of the National Trust, as well as the family collection of pictures, furniture, ceramics and objets d’art. The Faringdon Collection features Pre-Raphaelite paintings by Rossetti, Leighton and Watts and provides an opportunity to experience the sheer scale and grandeur of the work of Burne-Jones in the four large canvases and ten connecting scenes of The Legend of Briar Rose. Extensive grounds, which include Harold Peto’s Water Garden of 1904, surround the house. Members may join a curatorial talk focussing on Burne-Jones and those Pre-Raphaelites who are represented in the collection.
Wednesday 3 August 2011 10:30 – 16:30
A full day in Wimbledon, with a morning tour of Merton Park, a pub lunch and then afternoon at Cote Cottage, a listed house by J S Brocklesby, with afternoon tea in the garden.
Our morning will start with coffee at The London Pottery Co studio and then a visit to the 12th century church of St Mary the Virgin, (Morris/ Burne Jones designed windows), before taking a walking tour of Merton Park. The history of Merton Park is inextricably linked with John Innes, the man who brought us the formula for the famous potting compost. It was here that Innes, a successful City of London property developer, set up one of the first garden suburbs in the 1870s. His idea was a new suburb for wealthy professionals who hankered after a more rural way of life. To maintain the village atmosphere, the estate also included cottages for estate workers. One of the most characteristic features of the estate are holly hedges, which were used to unify the street scene.
Merton Park's most famous architect, John Sydney Brocklesby, designed dozens of houses in the Arts and Crafts style, including three large houses and a number of unusual flint cottages, inspired by his love of the Norfolk-cottage style. Merton Park has remained virtually unchanged for 100 years.
For lunch, seating has been set aside in a local pub, for those that wish to participate (cost not included).
In the afternoon there is a rare chance to see one of the finest houses by Brocklesby, now beautifully restored. Cote Cottage was built in 1927 for G H Farmer, the Advertising Manager of Imperial Tobacco Company and unusually includes Persian and Turkish antiques incorporated at the client’s request. The completed house was featured in the December 1928 edition of The Ideal Home magazine as ‘A Large Small House’. Afternoon tea and cakes will be served in the garden, weather permitting.
Tuesday 14 June 2011 11:00 – 17:00
The Lutyens Trust have once again kindly allowed the Society to come to Goddards during their summer week at the house. Sir Edwin Lutyens designed Goddards in 1898-1900 for Sir Frederick Mirrielees as a place where 'Ladies of Small Means' might rest and enjoy the wonderful courtyard garden planted by Gertrude Jekyll. Goddards was given to the Lutyens Trust in 1991 and has been expertly restored by the Landmark Trust for holiday lettings. The Lutyens Trust archive is held in the Study-Library. The day will feature a lecture:- Pertinacity of Purpose A quotation from Edmund Gosses’ biography of Henry Doulton
The lecture will be given by Janet Balchin and will focus on the less well known Arts and Crafts houses of Ewhurst, particularly those built on Pitch Hill and Holmbury Hill such as Long Copse by Alfred Powell, Coneyhurst by Philip Webb, Copse Hill by Christopher Turnor, Woolpit by Ernest George and Harold Peto and others by architects Ernest Newton, RA Briggs, Oliver Hill and Aston and Maurice Webb. Janet Balchin is Chairman of Ewhurst History Society and a member of the Domestic Buildings Research Group which studies old timber framed buildings that were an inspiration to the architects of the Arts and Crafts movement. An author of books on local history, Janet will have copies of her most recent publication Ewhurst Houses and People available for sale during the day.
After lunch we shall visit Belmont School, formerly known as ‘Feldemore’ designed 1879-1880 by George Redmayne to plans of Alfred Waterhouse for Edwin Waterhouse (a founder partner of Price Waterhouse) with some surviving examples of the original Morris and Co furnishings and William de Morgan tiles. Our guided tour will be led by the Headmistress, Mrs Helen Skrine. After returning to Goddards for tea there will be an opportunity to explore Goddards house and garden guided by Claire Hill of the Lutyens Trust.
Wednesday 13 July 2011 14:00 – 17:00
This event features a guided walk through Thursley Village to see where the young Edwin Lutyens lived and offers a rare chance to view some of his early works.
We shall see Street House, known as The Cottage when Charles Lutyens, Edwin’s father, leased it in 1876. After his death in 1915, his daughter Aileen continued to live there. Also to be viewed on the walk is The Corner, opposite where the young Lutyens lived. In 1888, at the age of nineteen, he was commissioned to convert a row of cottages into a single house and in 1895 to design a further extension.
One of Thursley’s most delightful buildings is Prospect Cottage which was formerly the Village Institute, it was designed by Lutyens and formally opened and given to the Parish Council in 1901.
The walking tour will include the Churchyard of St Michael’s Church where there are two memorials to members of the Lutyens family: a simple cross commemorates Charles and Mary Lutyens and their daughter Aileen whilst a second one commemorates Derek Lutyens. We shall end the afternoon taking tea with cakes in one of the charming cottages.
Tuesday 20 - Thursday 22 September 2011
Following the Society's successful study tours of the Cotswolds, Bournemouth and Malvern, we are planning a visit to a number of places of Arts and Crafts interest in the Isle of Thanet, Kent.
On day one we arrive in Margate in time for lunch at our hotel. In the afternoon we will have a guided walking tour of Westgate-on-Sea to examine the development of the area from the 1860’s as a fashionable seaside resort. We will view Waterside, by Ernest George, and The Observatory, by Bannister Fletcher, followed by a guided tour of St Saviour’s Church, designed by Charles N Beazley. We return to our hotel where we will receive a pre-dinner talk by Nick Dermott, the Heritage Adviser for Thanet, on the 19th/early 20th century buildings of Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate.
On day two we will be accompanied by Nick Dermott. We will travel by coach and in the morning plan to visit The Long Barn designed by Edgar Ranger, Seven Stones by S H Shaw and East Court by Sir Ernest George. After lunch we have arranged a guided visit to The Grange, Pugin’s own house in Ramsgate, which has been the subject of a multi-million pound restoration to its original form. This will be followed by a guided tour of St Augustine’s Abbey Church, also by Pugin. We return to our hotel for another pre-dinner talk on Pugin by Catriona Blaker, a founder member of the Pugin Society.
Our third day will start with a visit to Shottendane, by Thackeray Turner, and then to Sandwich for a tour of the medieval Cinque Port and a visit to The Salutation by Lutyens. Lunch will be in Sandwich.
Various elements of the tour are now in place although we await confirmation of access to a number of private houses. We stay for two nights, Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 September, at The Walpole Bay Hotel in Margate which is centrally located. Provisional bookings have been made with the hotel. We will travel to all venues on Wednesday by coach and on Tuesday afternoon there will be an opportunity for car sharing. Whilst in the area, members may wish to visit independently the newly opened Turner Contemporary Gallery .
Sunday 4th December 2011 12:30 – 16:30
Following the success of our first Christmas social lunch last year and the positive feedback received we have decided to repeat the occasion. Like last year the event will feature an illustrated presentation reviewing the year’s visits and lectures, including Prior’s Field school, Goddards, Kelmscott Manor, Thursley Village, Merton Park and our trip to the Isle of Thanet, etc., as well as a preview of what is planned for 2012, a pictorial quiz (on Arts and Crafts related to the year) and a raffle.
The venue for our lunch will again be Horsley Towers in Horsley Park. In 1840 the First Earl of Lovelace, son-in-law of Lord Byron, acquired the East Horsley Estate and moved his home from nearby Ockham Park to East Horsley place. Over the next 40 years he proceeded to embellish the house, designed by Sir Charles Barry, with fantastic towers, a great hall, cloisters and a chapel to create a Rhenish Gothic folly, which he suitable renamed Horsley Towers. He transformed the previously nondescript village of East Horsley into a model estate village using the same very idiosyncratic flint and polychrome brick style. In order to preserve the unique character of East Horsley, Surrey County Council designated it a conservation area in July 1973.
Horsley Towers will create the magic of Christmas with a sparkling atmosphere and a delicious three-course lunch with a glass of wine. We will also be able to take a tour to see the cloisters and chapel and discover the history of the building.
Details of past events
Archive details of past events are available for the following years:
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