The Watts Gallery & Limnerslease, Compton, Surrey
The Watts Gallery in Compton village – in a hollow in the Surrey hills just below the Pilgrims Way – was designed by Christopher Hatton Turnor for the eminent Victorian artist G F Watts OM RA and completed in 1904, just before Watts’s death. Turnor (1873-1940), who lived locally, was a pupil and life-long friend of Edwin Lutyens.
Watts and his wife Mary desired a simple, rural looking building in keeping with the prevailing Arts and Crafts ethos and were amply rewarded. The Gallery was recently reopened after a stunning renovation. Watts and his wife moved to Compton in 1891 having commissioned a house and studio from Sir Ernest George in whose office Edwin Lutyens trained.
Called Limnerslease, this house is the subject of a project under the patronage of the Prince of Wales to establish a centre for heritage learning (it can be visited meanwhile by appointment). In Compton also is a bridge designed by Lutyens with crosses by Mary Seton Watts who established a pottery in the village and created the astonishing Watts Cemetery Chapel. (www.wattsgallery.org.uk)
Correction (Spring 2013)
In his article in the Autumn Newsletter 2012 on The Watts Gallery & Limnerslease, Compton, Surrey, Michael Barker wrote “In Compton also is a bridge designed by Lutyens with crosses by Mary Seton Watts …… This should read: In Compton also is a bridge designed by Lutyens with his own Cross of Sacrifice. Mary Seton Watts established a pottery in the village and created the astonishing Watts Cemetery Chapel.