Booking Months: March 2019 and April 2019
George Frederic Watts OM, RA (1817 – 1904) was widely considered to be the greatest painter of the Victorian era. A portraitist, sculptor, landscape painter and symbolist, his work embodied the most pressing themes and ideas of the time.
His wife Mary Watts (née Fraser Tytler) (1849-1938) was a renowned designer in her own right, founder of the Compton Pottery (1900) and creator of Watts Chapel.
Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village is a unique Arts & Crafts gem nestled in the Surrey Hills. Discover stunning Victorian paintings and sculpture, wander to the nearby Grade I listed Watts Chapel, taking in the beautiful woodlands and grounds, or find out more about the lives and works of G F and Mary Watts at Watts Studios before taking a tour of the artists’ home, Limnerslease, which was designed by Sir Ernest George with original ceilings designed by Mary Watts. Hear about the people who visited and the creative and cultural life of George and Mary, as well as their contemporaries and the local community who they welcomed here.
Mary Watts was the artistic force behind the creation of Watts Chapel, and she dedicated it to ‘the loving memory of all who find rest near its walls…..’. G F and Mary Watts both rest in Cemetery, as do many other people who have played a role in the Artists’ Village over the years. Landscape, art and remembrance are beautifully blended together in this Grade I listed building. Up close, the extraordinary design and decoration both fascinate and overwhelm all who venture up the winding yew tree paths.
In 1895 Mary began to run evening Terracotta Classes at Limnerslease, the Watts’ nearby residence and studio. At these classes Mary would teach local villagers how to model tiles from local terracotta clay with the beautiful and symbolic patterns that she had designed to decorate the walls of the Chapel. G F Watts financed the building of the Chapel through painting commissioned portraits.
Coffee & biscuits on arrival
Tours of Limnerlease House/Watt’s Gallery/Watt’s Chapel
Free time to visit the studios & De Morgan Collection