The Arts Society High Weald plans trips usually twice a year, often to places of special interest that cannot be visited by the public.
Wherever possible we arrange a guide for the day which always gives a visit that extra dimension.
We are always open to suggestions but subjects have to be of a wide enough interest to attract at least 30 people to make a trip financially viable because of transport costs.
Walmer Castle and the Salutation Garden 9 May 2019
This drawing possibly came from the Hampton Court team responsible for the construction of castles in the Downs. Hence the inscription on the tower. It was in a 1539 draft presented to Henry VIII for approval.
Next we have an Isaac Cruikshank 1805 cartoon entitled A New Catamaran Expedition showing William Pitt the Younger, as Warden of the Cinque Ports, looking on from Walmer Castle as a fleet of fishing boats sails out to attack a French fort across the Channel. The four fishwives are armed with a magazine of potatoes, two cannons of royal gin and a ripe variety of balloon invective. The cartoon satirises Pitt’s recruitment of 35 luggers and fishermen as a seaborne militia. The word catamaran described both a fire-raft and a quarrelsome woman.
Another cartoon (unattributed) shows traffic across the Channel in the other direction and satirises the fear of a French invasion. It is entitled The Centinel at his Post or Boney’s Peep into Walmer Castle
And finally a peep into real life in the Castle for the Warden and his ladies.
The Medieval Churches of Romney Marsh on 5 Sept 2019 a further four churches following our popular visit in 2018
The Wren Churches of London 0n 18th October 2018
A party of members set off by coach and made good time to arrive at St Paul’s Cathedral, to be met by two very knowledgeable City guides and bright sunshine.
After a welcome coffee in the St Paul’s crypt we were split into two parties of twenty, to be shown wonderful sights. The emphasis was on the works of Wren but the city is full of history as well as world-class modern buildings and street art.
Our walk began through Wren’s Temple Bar Gate to St Vedast with its cloistered courtyard, and we started to see how Wren had to work within the existing city street plan and adapt his designs to differently shaped sites to make use of every inch. We are used to the regular shapes of traditional country churches, and Wren used different tricks to create spaces that produce the same effect. We then threaded our way through the back streets to the well-known landmark of St Mary-le-Bow where we had the unexpected bonus of a choir rehearsal.
After lunch we crossed to St Stephen Walbrook where Wren built an early dome in preparation for the Great Dome of St Paul’s. The church has been described as the world’s most finely proportioned interior and this is complemented (or not, depending on your point of view) by a modern circular altar by Sir Henry Moore. We were all charmed by the seemingly tiny Queen Anne style house built hard against the walls with huge modern blocks towering around it, now home to the Walbrook Club. We also spent time exploring another domed interior, St Mary Abchurch and finally St Mary Aldermary. The afternoon was rounded off with a panoramic roof-top view of the City, with St Paul’s looming over us from an unusual angle.
The City of London is unique and there is so much to see in a very civilised atmosphere. We will undoubtedly arrange another visit in the future.
The Medieval Churches of Romney Marsh on 12th April 2018
Glyndebourne behind the Scenes on Thursday 7 Dec 2017
Polesden Lacey & Hatchlands Park on 27th April 2017
Dulwich Picture Gallery & Horniman Museum on Thurs 17 Nov 2016
Chevening House on 22 Sept 2016
Tower of London & Tower Bridge or St.Katharine Dock 10 Mar 2016
Parham House, Storrington on Thurs 24 Sept 2015