The following lectures were presented during 2014
The following visits were made during 2014
Percival Cherry Blow has been referred to as St Albans' forgotten architect. Born in the town in 1873, he qualified as an architect by studying at Kings College London and as an articled pupil in London. Percival’s father, George Walter Blow, had a younger cousin Detmar Blow (1867-1939), whom Percival knew as a contemporary in his own field. Percival’s early work was in designing houses in St Albans and Harpenden but in 1909 his work branched out into public buildings and commercial premises and later into banks and shops including a number of premises for Sainsburys. He designed generally in the Arts and Crafts mode.
Chris Blow is also an architect who, prior to his retirement, was, for nearly 30 years with Guildford architects Scott Brownrigg and Turner, becoming a partner and then a director primarily responsible for airport designs all over the world including, Manchester, Moscow, Lyons, work in Hong Kong and also several competition designs such as Harare and Bangkok. On retirement he published a book on the design of transport buildings, and became a Visiting Professor of engineering design at the University of Surrey for six years.
This lecture follows the brief but fascinating introduction Jane gave to the first two volumes of Harold Peto’s Travel Diaries at our AGM two years ago. Robin Whalley, with Jane as collaborator, has now published six of the twelve diaries recording Peto’s travels through Europe and further afield. After a brief reminder of Peto’s tours of Italy and USA in 1887, Jane will introduce a further four of Harold Peto’s Diaries:- Spain and Italy each in 1888, France and Italy in 1889, and finally Greece and Turkey in 1891 and we shall see examples of how these journeys influenced Peto’s later work. Copies of the diaries will be available to purchase at the lecture.
Jane Balfour is a Garden Historian and Lecturer specialising in the work of Gertrude Jekyll and Harold Peto and gardens of the Arts and Crafts Movement
In Scotland, although there were pockets of rural activity, it was in the Central Belt, the heartland of Scottish manufacture and heavy industry that Arts and Crafts practice principally flourished. Here art schools brought together artists, architects and manufacturers to forge new ideas, and the story is above all one of friendships and shared ideals. The lecture gives an overview of the movement in Scotland, and looks at a broad range of artistic design – buildings, stained glass and mural decoration, furniture, metalwork and jewellery, ceramics etc – to illustrate the growth of national design around 1900.
Dr Elizabeth Cumming is a freelance art historian and curator, Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Glasgow University and Honorary Fellow at Edinburgh University. Her books include Phoebe Anna Traquair, Hand, Heart and Soul: The Arts & Crafts Movement in Scotland and The Art of Modern Tapestry: Dovecot Studios since 1912.
The American architect Frank Lloyd Wright is recognized as one of the most important architects of all time. During the course of his long career he designed over 800 buildings, including revolutionary structures such as The Guggenheim Museum, Fallingwater, the Johnson Wax Building and Taliesin. Wright’s architectural achievements were often over shadowed by his turbulent private life. In his 92 years he fathered seven children, married three times and suffered great personal tragedy. This illustrated talk provides an overview of his work, personal life and most iconic buildings.
Fiona Rose’s interest in Frank Lloyd Wright developed after a stay at the famous Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona which was heavily influenced by his designs. After working for health related charities and the NHS, she set up www.artsandcraftsliving.co.uk selling home interiors inspired by the style of the American and British Arts & Crafts era. Fiona has conducted speaking engagements at The University of Cambridge, for the National Trust, specialist Arts & Crafts associations and for national & local charity groups.
Pevsner described Townsend as "Without question the most remarkable example of the reckless repudiation of tradition among English architects of that time". He is remembered in London for the Bishopsgate Institute (1892-4), the Whitechapel Art Gallery (1897-9) and the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill (1900-2). In Blackheath village, near Guildford, he designed a number of buildings, including his own house. Recent research has found previously unknown buildings and a dazzle ship (a form of ship camouflage used extensively in World War I and designed to mislead the enemy).
Sarah Sullivan is a historic building and conservation specialist for Antique Buildings Ltd with a particular interest in timber framed structures. Uppark (National Trust) is amongst the many building restoration projects she has worked on. Sarah has been researching the life and work of the architect Charles Harrison Townsend.
Hugh Thackeray Turner began his architectural career working for the leading Gothic Revival architect George Gilbert Scott. Later, as an early member of the Art Workers Guild, he was involved in the formation and evolution of the Arts and Crafts Movement, being renowned for his painted ceramic work. As secretary for the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings he helped to lay the foundation for modern conservation practice. In partnership with Eustace Balfour, he designed many buildings in Mayfair. Turner designed a number of significant buildings in Surrey, including the Wycliffe Building, Westbrook, and, in collaboration with Gertrude Jekyll, the Phillips Memorial. Turner’s architectural work embodies the essence of the Arts and Crafts movement reflecting his conservation work and deep understanding of historic buildings.
Robin Stannard is a heritage and conservation specialist who formerly worked for English Heritage and now works for ADAM Architecture in Winchester. He has specialised in the work of Hugh Thackeray Turner and has contributed chapters in the books Seven Church Architects 1830-1930 and The Practice of Architecture, Eight Architects 1830- 1930, as well as the Phillips Memorial Park book, published by ACMS.
Wednesday 9 April 2014 13:30 – 15:00
An afternoon out in Chelsea to see the major architectural developments and artist residences
The afternoon will start with a visit and talk at Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Street, described by Sir John Betjeman as the “Cathedral of the Arts & Crafts Movement”. Replacing an earlier and perfectly adequate church building only built a mere fifty years previously, no expense was spared to build John Dando Sedding’s remarkable Holy Trinity. With stained glass by William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones as well as by Sir William Blake Richmond, it contains sculptures by Henry Wilson and F W Pomeroy amongst others.
Before the 1800s, Chelsea was a quiet village to the West of London, separated from the City by the Pimlico marshes with much of the land devoted to market gardening. There were a few grand houses along the riverside and King’s Road was a private road for the use of the king when travelling between his London homes and Windsor. The coming of the railways had a major impact on Chelsea, when in 1868 Sloane Square station opened up the development potential of the area, with a quick link to the City. Many celebrated architects were commissioned during Chelsea’s expansion in the late 19th and 20th centuries and we shall see numerous examples of their work including that of Henry Holland, Sir Ernest George, Richard Norman Shaw, Philip Webb, Halsey Ricardo and G E Street. During this period Chelsea also became a haven for artists and writers, some of whose homes also figure in our walk including William de Morgan, C R Mackintosh, Turner, Holman Hunt, William Dyce, Whistler, D G Rossetti, A Swinburne, Anna Lea Merritt, Maria Zambaco and Oscar Wilde. Our walk will be led by Robin Wyatt of the Art Workers Guild, starting at Holbein Place and finishing at Tite Street.
Thursday 8 May 2014 10:30 – 17:00
In the morning we visit the Grade I listed garden in the Italian style created by the Edwardian architect Harold A Peto, created following his purchase of the property in 1899. The garden, set on a steeply sloping hillside above the River Frome, is an enchanting creation with terraces, colonnades, statuary, casita and tall cypress tress all inspired by Peto’s many visits to Mediterranean gardens at the end of the 19th Century. For our visit we will be guided by Jane Balfour, a member of the Society and an acknowledged expert on the work of Harold Peto.
Following our visit to Iford we drive for some 30 minutes to the pub at Vobster for a buffet lunch. In the afternoon we visit nearby Mells Park. Here, in 1925, Sir Edwin Lutyens built a new house for Reginald McKenna, Chairman of the Midland Bank, replacing an earlier house lost in a fire in 1917. Set in an 18th Century landscaped Park, the house, in Lutyens’s later classical style, is built of fine ashlar stone with Doric pilasters. Lutyens brought in Gertrude Jekyll to design an Italian garden in the area around the house with terraces and stone steps connecting the levels. Following an introduction to the house by the present owner we will have the opportunity to view the house and garden.
To conclude the day we shall explore the nearby village of Mells. Here Lutyens restored Mells Manor (not open to the public) for Lady Horner and added a music room. In the Church of St. Andrew we can see the memorial to Edward Horner - a bronze equestrian statue by Alfred Munnings on a tall plinth by Lutyens. The Village War Memorial of 1920 is a Tuscan column of Portland stone with an inscription carved by Eric Gill.
Thursday 12 June 2014 10:00 – 16:00
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 guided by Claire Hill, Secretary of The Lutyens Trust.
The study day begins in Wonersh, with a tour of Chinthurst Hill and its gardens led by the owner, who is currently returning a building previously divided into three parts into the impressive dwelling as originally intended. The house was designed, very early in his career, 1893-5 by Sir Edwin Lutyens for Miss Guthrie, in Tudor style. It is dramatically situated, built on a hill-side site with garden terraces laid out by Gertrude Jekyll.
Following the tour we depart for Goddards, where, after lunch, there will be a series of presentations looking further into the background and history of Chinthurst Hill. The talks will be given by: Michael Edwards, architect, on the challenges and discoveries met during the restoration of Chinthurst Hill; Russell Morris, Historic Buildings Officer, Waverley Borough Council, examining the buildings in the local area that were contemporary with Chinthurst Hill and Sarah Sullivan, conservation architect on Ellinor Arbuthnot and her Nine Children (Chinthurst Hill was created for 'Maggie' the 2nd daughter). Lutyens meeting with Norman Shaw, the Surrey connections that brought his early commissions and the influences of the traditional Surrey vernacular in house building of the time will all feature in the story. The day will conclude with tea in the garden, weather permitting.
Wednesday 2 July 2014 14:30 – 17:30
Situated in 240 acres of unspoilt Surrey woodland, Whiteley Village is an idyllic home for the 500 or so people living independent lives in Grade 11 listed cottages. William Whiteley, of Whiteley’s Department Stores in Bayswater, died in 1907 leaving a legacy of a million pounds “To house the elderly poor”. The site for the village was chosen in 1911 with Walter Cave as consulting architect.
The layout of the village was by Frank Atkinson [architect of Selfridges], “Garden Suburb” in concept, formal and symmetrical with a monument to Whiteley at the centre. Building took place principally between 1914 and 1921 providing houses by Sir Reginald Blomfield, Sir Mervyn Macartney, Frank Atkinson, Ernest Newton, Sir Aston Webb, Walter Cave and Sir Ernest George with the church of St Mark by Sir Walter Tapper. There are 262 cottages in almshouse style and each with its own garden, two churches, a village hall, shop, post office and library. The villagers enjoy a large range of clubs and activities.
The village is now undergoing modernisation to renovate the Arts and Crafts elements and preserve the very best of the architecture whilst providing homes that meet the needs and aspirations of current and future residents. The £34M cost of the project is to a significant extent being driven by heritage architectural considerations. A substantial portion of the cost has already been found and the Whiteley Village Appeal [Patron HRH The Prince of Wales] is seeking to raise funds to complete the project. This is a rare opportunity for the Society to see the work of so many architects of the period imaginatively brought together for this philanthropic scheme. The Cottages Manager, Paul Martin will give an introductory talk and walking tours of the village will be led by members of the Whiteley Village History Society. The afternoon will conclude with afternoon tea with cakes and scones served in the conservatory.
Thursday 21 August 2014 10:00 – 17:00
In 1902, Christ’s Hospital school was relocated from London and Hertford to Horsham. Aston Webb (designer of the Victoria and Albert Museum), with his partner, E. Ingress Bell, designed the new buildings. Frank Brangwyn was given the commission to paint the murals in the school chapel. He painted 16 murals from 1912-23 on the subject of the mission and expansion of Christianity; beginning with the Acts of the Apostles and leading to the conversion of our own islands, and foreign missionary work. We shall have a guided tour of the school buildings and grounds and visit the museum.
We then drive to the Orchard restaurant, West Grinstead (formerly the Tabby Cat Inn) for lunch before driving on to Ditchling. Frank Brangwyn lived and worked here from 1917 until his death in 1956. Ditchling Museum holds a fascinating collection of work by the members of the Guild of St Joseph and St Dominic, founded by Eric Gill and Hilary Peplar. This loose community of makers, established on medieval and Catholic principles, was also influenced by the socialism of William Morris. We will have a guided tour of the village, starting at the museum, which has recently reopened after a £2.5 million renovation and expansion. We shall see the village war memorial designed by Gill and cut by Joseph Cribb. The walk takes in many of the houses and studios of the artists and craftspeople – Gill’s house and first studio, the home and studio of Brangwyn and that of Edward Johnston, the graphic designer.
We return to view the refurbished museum which also houses work by the silversmith, Dunstan Pruden; weavers, Ethel Mairet and Valentine KilBride; illustrator, David Jones; wood engraver, Philip Hagreen; carpenter, George Maxwell; stone carver, Desmond Chute and artist, Edgar Holloway.
Monday 8th – Friday 12th September 2014 (including travel time)
Following the Society's successful record of hotel-based tours, most recently of Liverpool, Cambridge and Isle of Thanet, we are planning a visit to Glasgow and its environs to see a number of museums and buildings of Arts and Crafts interest. Glasgow is a hospitable city with a rich history. It was the home of the inspirational architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh and is the best place to see his work..
On Tuesday, we will begin by taking a coach to the Hunterian Art Gallery where we will have a guided tour of the Mackintosh House and see the special exhibition on Mackintosh Architecture, then a short walk onwards to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, home to an important collection of the Glasgow Style. After lunch at the Museum we will walk to the Glasgow School of Art for a tour of Mackintosh’s masterpiece. Then we will take a walking tour of central Glasgow to see some of the remarkable architecture created around 1900, including a stop at the Willow Tea Rooms for afternoon tea before returning to our hotel where we shall have a pre-dinner talk on Robert Lorimer by the renowned expert on Scottish Arts and Crafts, Elizabeth Cumming.
On Wednesday, we travel by coach to Helensburgh, to visit the church of St Michael and All Angels before a private visit of The Hill House, designed by Mackintosh. Then we are very lucky to have the opportunity to see two private houses – Brantwoode by William Leiper and Longcroft by A N Paterson. Lunch will be in Luss before continuing our journey to Ardkinglas, regarded as Lorimer’s masterpiece, before returning to our hotel. This day will involve several hours travel by coach.
On Thursday, our third day we will again be taken by coach, first to see the Scotland Street Museum, by Mackintosh and then onto The Burrell Collection for a guided tour. Next we move on to the House for an Art Lover, built in 1987 to a Mackintosh design entry for a 1901 competition; here with have a guided tour and break for lunch. We travel to North Glasgow to visit Maryhill Burgh hall with its renowned stained glass, St Brides’ Episcopal Church by G F Bodley, then Hyndland Parish Church by William Leiper and finally the Mackintosh Church at Queen’s Cross, before returning to our hotel by coach.
Wednesday 15 October 2014 11:30 – 16:30
Highgate Cemetery was one of the earliest privately run garden cemeteries in England. It was the creation of Stephen Geary, entrepreneur, inventor, architect and founder of the London Cemetery Company, established by Act of Parliament in 1836 to build cemeteries north, south and east of London to relieve pressure on burial grounds in the metropolis. He appointed James Bunstone Bunning as surveyor and David Ramsey as the landscape architect. The East and the West Cemeteries are located on a hillside site and are rich in historical interest. The West Cemetery offers a stunning example of necropolitan landscape design, art and architecture, described by John Betjeman as a “Victorian Valhalla”. The Cemetery is now owned and managed by The Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust with whom we have arranged a private 90 minute tour of the West Cemetery with time to visit the East Cemetery afterwards.
Lunch will be taken at The Flask, a Grade II listed public house in Highgate Village, after which we will visit the Church of St Michael close by. The church, like the cemetery was built on land formerly belonging to the Ashhurst Estate, the seat of Sir William Ashhurst, Lord Mayor of London in 1694. Designed by Lewis Vulliamy and consecrated in 1832, it is an early example of Gothic Revival architecture. The architect for subsequent phases of work was G E Street, with responsibility for the highly decorated embellishment of the East Wall, accredited to Temple Lushington Moore. Our guide will be Roger Sainsbury who has recently published a book about the history of the church.
Sunday 7 December 2014 12:30 – 16:30
Following our successful Christmas lunch last year, we return again to Barnett Hill. Set amongst 26 acres of gardens and woodlands in the Surrey Hills area of outstanding natural beauty, Barnett Hill, a country house business and wedding venue run by the Sundial Group, with catering provided by award-winning chefs, is a delightful setting for celebrating the festive season. This year’s event will continue the popular format of an illustrated presentation reviewing the year’s visits and lectures with a preview of events for 2015, as well as a raffle and a display of the 2014 Photographic Competition entries (details for entering the competition will be circulated later this year).
Barnett Hill is Grade II* listed and was built, circa 1905, in Carolean style by Arnold Mitchell for Frank Cook the grandson of Thomas Cook, the travel agent. It is a fine and elegant building with a barrel-vaulted corridor and staircase modelled on Ashburnham house. Mitchell later built the Thomas Cook head office in Berkeley Street.
Details of past events
Archive details of past events are available for the following years:
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