Watts Gallery - Artists' Village
A gallery, chapel and artist's studio in the Surrey hills, and the only purpose-built single-artist gallery in the United Kingdom.
- Artist in residence
- Guided Tours
Limnerslease was the country home and studio of the Victorian Symbolist painter George Fredric Watts (1817-1904), who was, in his time, among the most famous artists of his generation. Though closely linked with the so-called 'Holland Park Circle' of artists focused around Lord Leighton (1830-1896) in London, Watts had Limnerslease built in 1891 as his winter home, after he was advised by doctors to avoid the capital for the sake of his health. Here he and his wife Mary (1849-1938) established themselves at the centre of a new artistic community and focused on creating employment for local people through the preservation of traditional craft skills.
After Watts' death, Mary Watts constructed the Watts Gallery, which was intended to house apprentices working in the pottery she had founded in 1898, as well as to display her husband's artworks. Visitors to the site today can see a world-class collection of Watts' paintings and sculptures in the Gallery, as well as the Watts Chapel, built by Mary Watts and the Compton Potters Art Guild in 1897, and the newly-reopened studio and domestic interiors at Limnerslease itself. 'I find,' Mary Watts wrote, 'that visitors experience an added pleasure in passing from a collection of art into the beauty and peace of nature'.