Walton and Hersham

Decorative & Fine Arts Society


Visits 2015

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Walton and Hersham

Previous year's visits can be seen at 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007

24 February: World War I - Bearskin and Bosche

Imperial War Museum This guided visit will be redolent with military history to commemorate all wars but focusing on World War I. It will start in the Guards’ Chapel which has many memorials to those who died in the wars and the battle honours of the Guards’ regiments. After this there will be an opportunity to walk round the Guards Museum with its comprehensive exhibition history of the Guards’ Regiments and relevant artefacts. Also on the site is the newly installed Flanders Memorial Garden. To commemorate start of World War I The garden is constructed from 70 bags of soil collected from the battle fields that were fought over during the course of the war.

After lunch we will drive around to see various sites had suffered severe damage during Zeppelins raids on London. We will then spend time in the Imperial War Museum, which has recently been refurbished and has a vast collection of all aspects of warfare.


Thursday 30 April: Hever Castle Visit

Hever Castle dates from 1270 when the gatehouse, outer walls and the moat were built. 200 years later the Boleyn family added the Tudor mansion within the walls. This was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn and there are many Tudor artefacts in the house which was extensively renovated in 1903 by the American millionaire William Waldorf Astor. He invested a huge amount of money and time in restoring the castle and the gardens which are magnificent.

Hever Castle
  • 8:30. Leave Hersham Village Hall.
  • 9:45 Arrive Hever Castle.
  • 10:00 Walk to the Moat Cafe for coffee and biscuits.
  • 10:30 Guided tour of castle in two groups. This will involve an original stone spiral staircase to reach the upper chambers with Anne Boleyn's bedroom, and the long gallery. The castle has been restored extensively, at huge expense by Lord Aster, who bought it in 1903, and filled it with a fine collection of paintings, furniture and tapestries.
  • 12:00 Free to explore gardens, which include the magnificent four acre walled Italian Garden, the rose garden, lakes streams and several water features. There is an exhibition of miniature model
    houses through the ages and a shop.
    (To return to the castle is an extra charge of £2:50)
  • Lunch is available in the Moat Cafe.
  • 3:30 Leave Hever Castle.
  • 5:00 Arrive Hersham Green.

£35 to include entry to castle, gardens and coffee.




14 July 2015: Stowe House and Gardens

Stowe HouseThere have been four main periods of development of Stowe House started in 1677 by Sir Richard Temple and finished in 1779. Although the exterior has remained much the same since then there have been considerable changes to the interior. Sir John Vanbrugh, William Kent, Charles Bridgeman, Capability Brown and Robert Adam, amongst many others, were involved in both the house and the garden.

If you’ve ever thought you would like a temple in your garden, Stowe is the place for you. Hidden amongst 750 acres are amazing vistas,lakes and vast open landscapes.There are forty monuments and temples most of which are said to have hidden meanings.


15 October 2015: Geoffrye Museum and William Morris Gallery

Geoffrye Museum

Geoffrye MuseumFounded in 1914, the museum specialises in domestic interiors. Most of the museum is housed in the alms-houses of the Ironmongers’ Company built in 1714 thanks to a bequest of Robert Geoffrye. The museum shows the changing styles of English domestic interiors in a series of eleven displayed period rooms from 1600 the present day. The emphasis is on the furnishings, pictures and ornaments of the urban middle classes. In addition, the museum has some eighteenth and nineteenth century almshouse rooms on display showing part of the building in its original purpose as accommodation for the deserving poor.



William Morris Gallery

William Morris GalleryOpened in 1950, the gallery is the only public one devoted to English Arts and Crafts and William Morris. The Georgian dwelling, c1759, was the family home until 1856. The collections illustrate Morris’s life, work and influence. They include printed, woven and embroidered fabrics and wallpaper designs. Morris’s home was also a gathering and working place for other designers, artists. ceramicists, fabric and wallpaper designers. Edward Burne-Jones, Philip Webb, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and others who together founded the firm of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Company in 1861. Amongst goods manufactured there were fabrics, wallpaper and ceramics. In another of their properties, Merton Abbey, tapestries were woven. Morris and his talented companions were instrumental in founding the very popular Arts and Crafts movement.