The Arts and Crafts Movement in Surrey. A cottage by Sir Edwin Lutyens at Munstead.

William De Morgan tile. Click to visit the Demorgan centre.


The following lectures were presented during 2012

* Olive MaggsAnna Lea Merritt’s Murals: wall paintings in a Surrey church   23 January 2012
* Jan WardThe Ideal Home - Raffles and Rupert Davison   28 February 2012
* Hilary GraingerThe Larger Country Houses of Sir Ernest George   27 March 2012
* Hilary UnderwoodMary Watts and the Home Arts & Industries Association   25 Septemer 2012
* Alfred RoweAntoni Gaudi   24 October 2012
* Jane BalfourEnglish Garden Makers on the Cote d'Azur   27 November 2012

The following visits were made during 2012

* Westbrook & Phillips Memorial – Friday 4th May 2012
*Goddards study day – Thursday 14th June 2012
* Brookwood Cemetery – Tuesday 17th July 2012
* Ernest George North Down Houses28th August 2012
* Cambridge Residential tour – Tuesday 18 - Thursday 20 September 2012
* Royal Holloway College – Friday 19th October 2012
* Christmas lunch – Sunday 9 December 2012



Olive Maggs
Anna Lea Merritt’s Murals: wall paintings in a Surrey church
Monday 25th January 2012 - 7.30pm for 8:00pm
at the Watts Gallery, Compton

Between 1894 and 1895 the American born Anna Lea Merritt painted a unique wall painting scheme for the church of St Martin’s, Blackheath in Surrey. The murals are important because the painting of a public monumental mural scheme by a woman was an unprecedented achievement at the time and because the painting was executed in the waterglass technique, a new technology which secured their survival in excellent condition. Designed to enrich and transform a rural community they are a fine example of nineteenth century public-spirited philanthropic patronage.

Olive Maggs is an art historian and lecturer. She lived for 10 years outside the UK, contributing to a contemporary Zimbabwean art magazine and exhibition catalogues before moving to Belgium, where she ran a lecture programme. She now works on a freelance basis for the Watts Gallery and has specialised in the history of women artists in the nineteenth century. Her research on Anna Lea Merritt’s murals is newly published by ACMS and forms the basis of an exhibition at the University of Surrey, 17th January – 2nd February 2012


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Jan Ward
The Ideal Home - Raffles and Rupert Davison
Tuesday 28 February 2012 - 7.30pm for 8:00pm
at the Watts Gallery, Compton

The drawings of (Thomas) Raffles Davison will be familiar to many architectural enthusiasts of Victorian and Edwardian buildings. He was a talented illustrator and publisher and as editor of The British Architect for nearly forty years used his special drawing skills to illustrate the journal. It is less widely known that he trained as an architect and several of his houses still exist. Even less well known is that his son, (William) Rupert, was also an architect and during his shortened lifetime designed many houses around the country but mainly in Woldingham, where the family lived for many years. Rupert was involved with the inaugural Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition in 1908, following which, both father and son promoted the notion of “The Ideal Home”

Jan Ward has been a member of ACMS for many years and has a passion for buildings and the people who live in them. One of her ambitions in life was fulfilled nearly thirty years when the opportunity arose to build her family home. She has a background in Town Planning and in her spare time delves into architectural research. This has culminated in the publication of two monographs of Mervyn Edmund Macartney and Leonard Stokes.


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Hilary Grainger
The Larger Country Houses of Sir Ernest George
Tuesday 27 March 2012 - 7.30pm for 8:00pm
at the Watts Gallery, Compton

Sir Ernest George (1839-1922) was not only one of the most successful and prolific of late Victorian architects, but was also an etcher and watercolourist of great distinction. His work in partnership with Thomas Vaughan, Harold A Peto and Alfred B Yeates encompassed country houses, town houses, six churches, and some significant public works including Golders Green Crematorium and the Royal Academy of Music. Over 80 assistants and pupils including Lutyens, Baker, and Dawber passed through George’s office. and his influence on the following generation was significant. This lecture examines a range of important and influential country house commissions with specific reference to those in the North Downs.

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 several universities. She is a leading authority on George and also on the architecture of British crematoria. Her book The Architecture of Sir Ernest George was published by Spire Books Ltd in 2011. Hilary is the Chair of The Victorian Society.


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Hilary Underwood
Mary Watts and the Home Arts Industries
Tuesday 25th September 2012 - 7.30pm for 8:00pm
at the Watts Gallery, Compton

The Home Arts and Industries Association, founded as the Cottage Art Association by Eglantine Jebb, was an organisation to which Mary Watts was deeply committed. She helped in fundraising, and created the Watts Cemetery Chapel and the Potters’ Arts Guild under its auspices. This illustrated lecture explores the history and organisation of the Association and Mary Watts’s relationship with it. It places the pottery she instigated in the context of the craft work produced by other Association classes and explores how issues of gender, amateurism and cultural philanthropy have affected the Association’s standing.

Hilary Underwood trained as a painter at Wimbledon School of Art and as an Art Historian at the Courtauld Institute. She was Assistant Curator at Watts Gallery 1988 – 1994 and is currently a Curatorial Advisor for the Gallery and teaches Art History and English Literature at the University of Surrey. She has published on the Compton Pottery and on the Home Arts and Industries Association in An Artists’ Village; G F and Mary Watts in Compton (Mark Bills ed., Watts Gallery 2011) and on the Compton Cemetery in The Word in the Pattern by Mary Seton Watts (Desna Greenhow ed. Arts and Crafts Movement in Surrey 2012).


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Alfred R Rowe
Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926)
Wednesday 24th October 2012 - 7.30pm for 8:00pm
at the Watts Gallery, Compton

Gaudi was a Spanish Catalan architect best remembered for the Sagrada Familia church but who was also responsible for many examples of “Modernista” architecture in and around Barcelona which integrate with crafts such as stained glass, ceramics and metalwork as well as Moorish architecture. Gaudí's work was greatly influenced by forms of nature and this is reflected by the use of curved construction stones, twisted iron sculptures, and organic-like forms. He adorned many of his buildings with coloured tiles arranged in mosaic patterns adding another important dimension, that of colour, to his original designs

Alfred Rowe is a British architect, architectural historian, lecturer and broadcaster. He has lectured for many organisations including the National Trust, The Royal Institute of British Architects and universities educational has also lectured extensively in the United States. He has travelled widely throughout Europe and has been guest speaker for cruise lines.


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Jane Balfour
English Garden Makers on the Cote d'Azur
Tuesday 27th November 2012 - 7.30pm for 8:00pm
at the Watts Gallery, Compton

This lecture explores the designs of familiar figures within the history of our gardens of the Arts and Crafts Movement but focusing on their work in the South of France, including the achievement of Harold Peto on Cap Ferrat, Lawrence Johnston at his beloved Serre de la Madonne, and the philanthropist Thomas Hanbury at La Mortola

Jane Balfour is well-known as a long-standing member of the Society. She is a Garden Historian and Lecturer specialising in the work of Gertrude Jekyll and Harold Peto and Gardens of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Jane is currently collaborating with Robin Whalley in the publication of Harold Peto's Travel Diaries

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Centenary of the sinking of the Titanic: Visit to the Phillips Memorial and Westbrook House, Godalming

Friday 4th May 2012   Full day 10:00 - 16:30, or half day

This event celebrates the launch of the Society’s new book Phillips Memorial Park: An Arts and Crafts Tribute to a Hero of the Titanic published for the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic on the 15th April 1912.

The hero of the book’s title was Jack Phillips, a young man from Farncombe who was the wireless operator on board Titanic. His actions, in staying at his post issuing distress calls until he went down with the ship, resulted in his being revered as a local hero and, in 1914, work commenced on the Phillips Memorial Cloister which was erected in his memory. The Memorial Cloister, initiated by five women, including Mary Watts and Gertrude Jekyll, was designed by the architect Thackeray Turner, who lived in Godalming, with a planting scheme by Gertrude Jekyll who also lived nearby at Munstead. We shall encounter all these subjects during this event with the architecture of Hugh Thackeray Turner featuring at the venues to be visited.

There are options for joining the events of the day on a half day or full day basis, as explained below. We meet at The Kings Arms and Royal Hotel in the centre of the historic town of Godalming for the launch of the book which gives an account of the creation of the Memorial Cloister set in its 11 acres of parkland. The book is the result of collaboration between a number of contributors including Sarah Sullivan, Robin Stannard and Russell Morris, as members of the ACMS, Miss Jekyll expert Michael Tooley and John Young of Godalming Museum with Titanic expert Amanda Le Boutillier. We shall have an illustrated presentation from some of the authors before visiting the Memorial itself. Here guided tours of the building will examine the design of the structure and give an understanding of the work undertaken by Waverley Borough Council in securing Lottery funding which not only provided for the restoration of the Memorial but also for improvements to the park and the meadow that are the backdrop to the Memorial’s location beside the River Wey. Those attending the morning programme may then wish to conclude with the fascinating special exhibition at Godalming Museum, Jack Phillips and the Titanic.

Those attending the full day return to the Hotel for a buffet lunch. There will be time to see the Godalming Museum exhibition before proceeding to Westbrook. By kind permission of the owners, members may view the principal ground floor rooms of the house designed and built by Thackeray Turner for himself in 1900. The house, “as comfortable and free from period allusion as anything Lutyens or Voysey were building at the time” (Pevsner – Surrey 1971), is set in a delightful garden; the design of the sunken garden bears comparison with that of the Memorial Cloister.


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Sir George Gilbert Scott: A study day at Goddards, Abinger Common

Thursday 14th June 2012   11:00 – 17:00

The Lutyens Trust has once again kindly allowed the Society to hold a study day at 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 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. During our visit there will be an opportunity to explore the house and garden at Goddards with guided tours.

Our chosen subject for study is Sir George Gilbert Scott (1811-1878), leading exponent of the Gothic Revival, designer of the Albert Memorial, of the station and Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras and prolific church architect of the period. The day will feature an illustrated lecture: The Churches of Sir Gilbert Scott

Lecturer Dr Geoff Brandwood will focus on the architect’s church-building work in general and encompass all his major work in Surrey, including the magnificent Church at Ranmore. A theme of the talk is the rich use of materials incorporated into Scott’s designs. The controversy over his church restoration activities that led to the establishment of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings will be discussed. Dr Geoff Brandwood is an architectural historian, an expert in the Victorian period and a former Chairman of the Victorian Society.

During the afternoon we shall visit two local examples of Scott’s work, both listed Grade II*: the Church of the Holy Trinity at Westcott and the Church of St Barnabas, Ranmore. At the latter, Mr Dick Gover, former Church Warden, will talk about the role of the Church in the social history of the Denbies Estate. The Church was commissioned by the first Baron Ashcombe, son of celebrated builder Thomas Cubitt who purchased the Estate in 1850.


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A visit to Brookwood Cemetery, Woking, Surrey

Tuesday 17th July 2012   14:00 – 17:30

Brookwood Cemetery came into existence as a solution to coping with the volume of London’s dead in the mid nineteenth century. The London Necropolis and National Mausoleum Company, established by Act of Parliament in 1852, purchased two thousand acres of common land from Lord Onslow for a suburban metropolitan cemetery. Five hundred acres was initially laid out for the cemetery by Sidney Smirke and Sir William Tite and opened in 1854. The London and South Western Railway was engaged to carry coffins and mourners from a private station adjacent to Waterloo down into the Cemetery where there were two stations, one for Anglicans and one for Dissenters.

The cemetery, designated a Grade 1 Historic Park and Garden by English Heritage in 2009, includes a remarkably wide range of burials reflecting all levels of society. Jenny Mukerji, a local historian who has a special interest in The Arts and Crafts Movement, will lead us on a walk to visit the resting places of members of the Pre-Raphaelite and GF Watts circles including Evelyn and William de Morgan, Marie Spartali Stillman, John Dickson Batten, John Singer Sargent and Sir Luke Fildes.

Afternoon tea will be served at Merrist Wood Golf Club. The duration of the walk will be 2 hours and participants are advised to wear appropriate footwear as the ground may be uneven, overgrown and muddy when wet. Brookwood Cemetery is a privately owned and managed burial ground.

Note: No photography is permitted in the cemetery without a photographic permit issued by the Cemetery Office. A permit application form may be downloaded at A suggested donation of £10 is applicable.


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A Visit to Two Sir Ernest George Houses in West Sussex

Tuesday 28 August 2012   10:30 – 16:00

We will gather at Buchan Hill (now Cottesmore School) at Pease Pottage for coffee and a tour of this large property built by Sir Ernest George between 1882-86 for Philip Felix Renaud Saillard, a dealer in ostrich feathers (which feature prominently in the decoration). The architectural style of the property is described by Hilary Grainger in her major book on the architecture of Sir Ernest George as being “a splendidly lavish display” of Flemish and German Renaissance “couched within a Queen Anne framework”.

We will then drive to Sedgwick Park, south of Horsham, where we will enjoy a buffet lunch followed by a tour of the house and garden, courtesy of the owners, John and Clare Davison. Sedgwick Park was built for Robert Henderson, a director of the Bank of England, by George and Peto in 1886 with additions by George and Yeats in 1903 and 1904. The hand of Peto is very evident in the classical interior decoration and in the garden, which was laid out by Emma Henderson in 1895. There are sumptuous views towards the South Downs from the back of the property.


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A three day tour of Cambridge: Buildings with Arts and Crafts connections

Tuesday 18th - Thursday 20th September 2012

Following the Society's successful residential tours of Kent, Malvern and Bournemouth, we are planning a visit to Cambridge to see a number of buildings of Arts and Crafts interest.

On day one arrive in Cambridge in time for lunch, followed by the first guided blue badge walking tour of Cambridge. We will visit All Saints church (G F Bodley with Morris decorations and stained glass), then to Jesus College (A W Pugin with Morris decorations) and then to Magdalene College to see the Lutyens' additions, followed by Westminster College. Returning to our hotel by punt, for a pre-dinner talk.

On day two we start our second guided walking tour covering Little St Mary’s Church (Gilbert Scott with Comper and Kempe features), Emmanuel United Reform Church (Morris & Co windows), Queens’ College (Bodley, Morris and Madox Brown features), St Botolph’s Church (Bodley addition) and then to Peterhouse (Morris windows) where we will have lunch. During the afternoon we will visit Storey’s Way to see a number of the Baillie Scott houses. We then walk back to our hotel for another pre-dinner talk.

On our third day we will start with a short tour of St John’s College and the G Gilbert Scott Chapel and then there will be some free time to see the Fitzwilliam Museum or one of the many other museums in Cambridge, or another college. Around midday we shall leave Cambridge and travel to Holy Trinity Church (Clayton & Bell Stained glass & wall paintings) in Hildersham for a talk and light lunch. After lunch you will have the option of travelling to Letchworth Garden City to walk around part of this early garden suburb before heading home.

Various elements of the tour are now in place although the Colleges are independent, autonomous bodies which are free to open and close for visitors with little notice. Driving within Cambridge is not easy so please expect a reasonable amount of walking between venues each day (3 to 4 miles). We shall stay for two nights, Tuesday 18th and Wednesday 19th September, at The Royal Cambridge Hotel, an old fashioned hotel with car parking (£8 per 24hrs), centrally located next to the Fitzwilliam museum.


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A tour of Royal Holloway College and the Picture Gallery Egham, Surrey

Friday 19th October 2012   10:45 – 16:30

A rare chance to have a guided visit of Royal Holloway College and see the art collection, which has for the past three years been on tour in America.

Thomas Holloway was a self-made multi-millionaire whose fortune had been made in patent medicines. He founded Royal Holloway College in 1879 after initiating a public debate inviting suggestions as to 'How best to spend a quarter of a million pounds or more'. It was his wife Jane who suggested a college for women as the means by which Holloway's money might affect 'the greatest public good'.

Royal Holloway College, designed by William Henry Crossland and largely inspired by the Chateau Chambord in the Loire Valley, was opened by Queen Victoria in 1886. Built around two quadrangles, today it continues to impress as much by its size as by the exuberance of the roofline with its many towers and turrets. It also provides a home for the Royal Holloway Collection - an extensive Picture Gallery of Victorian paintings by Millais, Frith, Brett, Roberts and Landseer among others - that was the final touch to Holloway's generous endowment.

We will be guided round the Chapel, North Quad, Victorian Corridor, Founder’s Dining Hall, South Quad and Founder’s Library by Rosamund Reid who studied architecture at the college, followed by a light lunch and talk in the Picture Gallery.


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Christmas Lunch at Horsley Towers, East Horsley, Surrey

Sunday 9 December 2012   12:30 – 16:30

Following the success of our previous Christmas lunches and the continued positive feedback, we have decided to repeat the occasion. Like last year the event will feature an illustrated presentation reviewing the year’s visits and lectures as well as a preview of what is planned for 2013, a short Arts and Crafts quiz, a raffle and a display of the photographic competition entries.

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 history tour to see the cloisters and chapel.


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Details of past events

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