Visits Programme

  For any visit queries please contact the Visits Secretaries Charles & Sally Barker-Dodds
26th March 2019 SS Great Britain and the Brunel Museum

Launched in 1843 she was called 'the greatest experiment since the Creation’. By combining size, power and innovative technology, Brunel created a ship that changed history. His vision made the SS Great Britain the template for all modern ships.

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Previous Visits

17th October 2018 Wild Life and Scandal - Powderham Castle, Exeter

A fascinating visit to a privately owned castle

1st February 2018

Monochrome: Painting in Black and White (National Gallery, Sainsbury Wing)

This was the first major exhibition to explore art in black and white. We followed the tradition of painting in black and white from its beginnings in the Middle Ages through the Renaissance and into the 21 st century . We explored a history without colour as masters such as Rembrandt and Van Dyck were juxtaposed with modern and contemporary artists including Picasso, Bridget Riley and Gerhard Richter . We also learnt where and when grisaille painting was used and how it responded to other media such as printmaking, photography and film comprising works on glass, vellum, ceramic, silk, wood, and canvas.

22nd June 2017

Tetbury - Chavenage House

A 16th century historic house on a site occupied since the 1300's. Occupants included Thomas Seymour and his wife Katherine Parr and Colonel Nathaniel Stevens who, cursed by his daughter, died soon after giving rise to a ghost story. The house had been used in many films and television series, most recently ‘Poldark' and we were shown round by the current family who have occupied the property since 1891.

Westonbirt Arboretum

We had a special guided walk to learn about and enjoy the huge variety of trees and shrubs from all over the world, collected since 1850. We also had the opportunity to try the tree-top walk which offered spectacular views across the arboretum.

6th April 2017

Wells - Cathedral and Bishop's Palace

This was an opportunity to visit England's smallest city to enjoy two of its greatest treasures. Wells Cathedral, described as 'the most poetic of the English Cathedrals', dates from the 12th century and unique features include the beautiful inverted arches supporting the central tower and one of the largest collections of historic stained glass in the country.

After a break for lunch we visited the stunning medieval Bishop's Palace for a guided tour of the interior. Home to the Bishops of Bath and Wells for over 800 years it is acknowledged to be the most impressive historic bishop's house still in use in England. It contains a beautifully vaulted Undercroft, a Long Gallery, the Bishop's private chapel and a splendid ruined Great Hall.

19th October 2016

Cheltenham & Gloucester: Everyman Theatre & Nature in Art Gallery

imageWe began with a tour of the Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham. The main auditorium is an architectural masterpiece designed by the pioneering Victorian architect Frank Matcham which has inspired generations of performers. We discovered the rich history of the Theatre and saw what a day in the life of a working theatre was like. Our tour took us on stage, into the wings and showed us the star dressing rooms.

imageThe afternoon was spent at the Nature-in-Art gallery, dedicated to fine, decorative and applied art inspired by nature. The growing collection is housed in a fine 18th c Georgian mansion. Spanning 1500 years, displays embrace work in all mediums and styles from across the globe. The collection contains the best creations of 600 artists from over 50 countries.

8th June 2016

Chichester: Parham House & ‘John Piper Textiles', at Pallant House Gallery

Our day began with a private tour, before it opens to the general public, of Parham House and its beautiful gardens. At the Pallant House Gallery we had a talk on the John Piper Textiles exhibition.

18th April 2016

V&A, Science Museum

botticelliWe saw the Clockmaker's Collection and the Museum's Measuring Time gallery provide us with access to a remarkable horological collection spanning the 16th to 21st centuries. After lunch we had a talk on Botticelli Reimagined, followed by timed entry to the Botticelli exhibition