Walton and Hersham

Decorative & Fine Arts Society



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Walton and Hersham


22 April 2009
Greenwich National Maritime Museum and The Queen's House

On the site of the Tudor palace of Placentia there now stands the former Royal Navy College with its Painted Hall and Chapel, the Maritime Museum and the Queen’s House. The Maritime Museum charts Britain’s seafaring history from the 16th Century to the early 20th Century including a new gallery exploring the interrelationships between Britain, Africa and the Americas. Among other themes there are also galleries which trace Maritime London and Nelson’s Navy.

The Queen’s House, designed by Inigo Jones and England’s first classical building, was a gift by Charles I to his wife Henrietta Maria who called it ‘her palace of delights’. The outstanding features include the Great Hall – a perfect cube the height of the Building - and the ‘Tulip Staircase’ – the first self supporting spiral stairs in Britain. It now provides an elegant setting for fine paintings (Gainsborough, Lely, Hogarth & Reynolds) and many other historical artefacts.

14 July 2009
Salisbury Cathedral & Wilton House

Arguably Britain’s finest 13th Century cathedral, Salisbury celebrated the 750th Anniversary of its completion in 2008.Our guided tour will give us a full appreciation of this magnificent building which also has the best preserved original Magna Carta and the oldest working clock (1386) in Europe.

Wilton House has been the ancestral home of the Earl of Pembroke for 460 years when Henry VIII took the original Abbey and lands and gave them to Sir William Herbert, the husband of Catherine Parr’s sister. After a fire, the house was rebuilt by Inigo Jones in the Palladian style. The chief architectural features include the magnificent State Apartments, the famous single and double cubes and the 19th century cloisters.

The house contains one of the finest collections in Europe with 230 paintings on display including works by Van Dyke, Rubens, Joshua Reynolds and Bruegel. In the landscape gardens is the majestic Palladian bridge over the River Nadder and fours new gardens created
by the 17th Earl in1969 – the Northern Forecourt,
the Old English Rose, Water and Cloister gardens.

13 October 2009
Southwark Walk, Southwark Cathedral and The Globe Theatre

Southwark, located on the South Bank of the Thames and outside the jurisdiction of the City of London, was for centuries infamous rather than famous. Londoners crossed the river to enjoy pursuits the City Fathers frowned on. It also included the sites of the Clink and Marshalsea prisons, the latter being very familiar to us from Dickens’ Little Dorrit. We shall explore the former industrial area of Bermondsey and hear about Mr Thomas Guy and his hospital. Southwark Cathedral is architecturally one of the most important churches is London and once included Shakespeare in its congregation. We shall then visit the site of the original Globe Theatre before a guided tour of the reconstructed Globe which vividly evokes the experience of the Elizabethan theatre.

Looking down on Southwark Cathedral from the 24th Floor