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Farnham & Watts Gallery


31 May 2012

Non-members £3

Leave from the Starting Gate at 9.30am, return at approx 6pm. Cost £20, including admission charge and introductory talk at Watts Gallery.

The first stop will be the town of Farnham. (Arrive 10.45am). Farnham is an historic market town on the Surrey/Hampshire border. It has many Georgian buildings which often conceal the structure of even earlier ones. The town is crowned by the castle (built 1138), which overlooks the heart of Farnham. It has a proud connection with several historic characters, including Jonathan Swift, William Cobbett as well as JM Barrie who wrote Peter Pan whilst staying in Farnham. The cobbled streets have a range of shops as well as a wide variety of establishments for refreshment. (Leave 1pm)

Watts Gallery (Arrive 1.30pm) first opened its doors to the public in 1904. It is a purpose-built art gallery created for the display of the great Victorian artist George Frederic Watts OM RA (1817-1904). The building was expanded between 1905-6 to add more gallery space to house Watt’s monumental models of Physical Energy and Tennyson.

The gallery re-opened in June 2011 after a two-and-a-half year restoration which has returned it to its former glory. It is one of the most beautiful small galleries in Europe and the only purpose-built Gallery in the UK dedicated to single professional artist.

Visitors can also enjoy the nearby Watts Chapel, a Grade 1 listed building, which is an Arts and Craft masterpiece. There is also a licensed Tea Room serving lunches, teas and drinks, a Visitor Centre and toilet facilities on site all of which are accessible by wheelchair users.

Our visit includes a 20-minute introductory talk. The visit will take place during an exhibition of Watts’ finest portraits of his contemporaries, including portraits of Tennyson, Millais, Morris, Leighton and Manning. (Leave 4.30pm) Arri

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