Walton and Hersham

Decorative & Fine Arts Society



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Walton and Hersham




Friday 8 April 2011
Half Day Visit to Chiswick House and Gardens

Chiswick HouseChiswick House Interior

Chiswick House is among the most impressive examples of England’s Palladian Architecture. Drawing on inspiration of his ‘Grand Tours’ of Italy, it was designed by the Earl of Burlington with Charles Bridgeman and William Kent in the years 1726 to 1729. The sumptuous interiors were the work of William Kent and provided elegant rooms for Lord Burlington’s magnificent art and sculpture collections. Old Master paintings are now displayed in the Red and Green rooms.

The Gardens

Chiswick House GardensChiswick House Gardens

A major project, culminating in 2010, restored the gardens, considered by many to be the birthplace of English landscape gardening, to their former glory. Miles of paths have been renewed allowing visitors to explore the vistas, the buildings and statuary.


Thursday 19 May 2011
Tours of the Royal Albert Hall &
Victoria and Albert Museum Medieval & Renaissance Galleries

The Royal Albert HallThe Royal Albert Hall


Instigated by Prince Albert, the Hall was finally opened in March 1871.Queen Victoria was too overcome to speak and The Prince of Wales was obliged to announce “The Queen declares this Hall is now open”.

Our visit will tell of the Hall’s fascinating history and some of its secrets. The tour will explore the auditorium, some of the areas backstage and include the Queen’s suite and the Royal Retiring Room.



The Victoria and Albert MuseumVandA_Medieval_Gallery
Tour of the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries

Another icon of the Victorian era, the V & A is the world’s largest museum of decorative art and design, opened in 1857 by Queen Victoria. After seven years of development and costing £31m, the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries were opened to great acclaim in November 2009. We will be guided round these galleries by Paula Nuttall, our March 2011 lecturer on Renaissance art.


Tuesday 19 July 2011
Dover Castle




On a site of strategic importance since the Iron Age, the building of Dover Castle was started in the 1160s by Henry II and continued by his successors. The Great Tower’s interior has recently been lavishly recreated to how it might have appeared in 1184.

The Castle has been continuously garrisoned for 900 years until 1958 and played a vital role during WWII. Beneath the castle, the tunnels, where 700 people lived and worked, served as the command centre for the evacuation of Dunkirk and for naval and air defences.

18 October 2011
The Lord Mayor of London, the City and Guilds
A Guided Walk Including Visits to the Vintners' Hall and the Guildhall Art Gallery

The Lord Mayor 

The Vintners' Hall

The Vintners’ Company, one of the Great Twelve Livery Companies, is also one of the oldest, having received its charter in 1363. It has occupied its site since 1446. The present building dates from the 1690s. The wealth of the Company is reflected in the sumptuous Boardroom, Court Room, the Livery Hall and the many treasures accumulated over the centuries.

The Guildhall Art Gallery

Within the 12th century Guildhall Yard is the Guildhall Art Gallery, home of the City of London’s art collection. Originating in the 17th century, it is ‘a Collection of Art Treasures worthy of the capital city’. Works date from 1670 to the present and it also has a fascinating range of paintings documenting London’s dramatic history. Beneath the Gallery are the excavated remains of the Roman amphitheatre.