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Basingstoke & Its Contribution to World Culture @ St Peter's hall
Apr 25 all-day
Basingstoke & Its Contribution to World     Culture @ St Peter's hall | Limpsfield | England | United Kingdom

One of the most derided towns in England, renowned for its dullness, Basingstoke is distinguished only by its numerous roundabouts and absurd Modernist architecture. Rupert explains that the post-war planners, who inflicted such features as ‘the Great Wall of Basingstoke’ on the town, were politically-motivated and bent on destroying all traces of its past. He reveals the nobler Basingstoke that is buried beneath the concrete, and the few historic gems that have survived the holocaust. Hilariously told, it is a story that neatly illustrates the ugliest episode in England’s architectural history. As Betjeman wrote prophetically, ‘What goes for Basingstoke goes for most English towns’.

Rupert Willoughby specialises in the domestic and social life of the past. He is the author of the best-selling Life in Medieval England for Pitkin and of a series of popular histories of places, including Chawton: Jane Austen’s Village. His most recent book – perhaps his greatest challenge to date – is Basingstoke and its Contribution to World Culture.  Rupert has published numerous articles, contributes regular obituaries to The Daily Telegraph, writes histories of houses, occasionally broadcasts to the nation and is an experienced lecturer, whose repertoire ranges from the life and personalities of the Middle Ages to the world of Jane Austen.


Tour of the Royal Courts of Justice/Sir John Soane’s Museum. @ Royal Courts of Justice
May 4 @ 10:45 am – 3:30 pm
Tour of the Royal Courts of Justice/Sir John Soane’s Museum. @ Royal Courts of Justice | England | United Kingdom

We will visit The Royal Courts of Justice in the morning, this guided tour will include The Great Hall, viewing original court documents relating to ‘Guy Fawkes’, an exhibition of legal costumes, history about the fabulous Art, including works by Wright, Lawrence and Shee and a history of the RCJ’s famous cases and Inquiries.


In the afternoon we will visit Sir John Soane’s Museum. Sir John Soane (1753 – 1837) was one of the most inventive architects of his time and an avid collector. He built the Bank of England and Dulwich Picture Gallery, as well as his own extraordinary home by buying, demolishing and rebuilding three houses in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. He displayed his acquisitions in creative, eclectic ways in his home and four years before he died he negotiated an Act of Parliament to preserve his house and collection, exactly as it would be at the time of his death and to keep it open and free for inspiration and education. We will have an introductory talk followed by a self-guided tour of the Museum.


Bookings will be taken at the March and April lectures.


Please click here to see more details of the event and booking and payment details


Tour of Basingstoke and historic buildings. @ The Vyne
May 24 all-day
Tour of Basingstoke and historic buildings. @ The Vyne | Sherborne Saint John | England | United Kingdom

This tour will include a visit to The Vyne an Elizabethan House and Gardens, now undergoing a £54 million roof refurbishment. The roof work can be viewed from a high covered gallery.

Image: Ipomoea lobata in the Summerhouse Garden at The Vyne © National Trust Images/Karen Legg

Sacred Art of Burma @ St Peter's Hall
May 30 all-day
Sacred Art of Burma @ St Peter's Hall | Limpsfield | England | United Kingdom

The temples, iconography, sculptures, textiles, dance performances, literature, landscapes and people of Burma are infused with the spirit of Buddhism. This gentle philosophy, preaching peace and serenity, has inspired some of the greatest art and architecture in the world, nowhere more so than in Burma, now known as Myanmar.

This lecture shows the artistic glories of temples throughout the country, their spires, statues, carvings, murals and rituals. It illustrates the religious symbolism of exquisite textiles and compelling dance ceremonies.

Denise Heywood is an author, lecturer, photographer and journalist. She worked in Cambodia as a journalist for three years and has also lived in France and America. She writes for many art, literary and travel publications, leads art tours to Southeast Asia and France and lectures on cruise ships sailing throughout Asia.

Her latest book is Cambodian Dance Celebration of the Gods, with a foreword by Princess Buppha Devi, daughter of King Sihanouk.

Tour of Tower Bridge. @ Tower Bridge
Jun 13 all-day
Tour of Tower Bridge. @ Tower Bridge | England | United Kingdom

We will see the colourful history of this famous bridge from Victorian times until the present day, visit the Victorian engine rooms and admire the stunning views of London.

image © City of London

Lee Miller: Witnessing Women at War  @ St Peters Hall
Jun 27 all-day
Lee Miller: Witnessing Women at War  @ St Peters Hall | Limpsfield | England | United Kingdom

For Lee Miller, a woman at war was any woman caught up in World War 2. She shot faultless images for Vogue’s haute couture in London’s bombed out streets. She documented the magnificent work of the WRNS, ATS, the Land Girls, the WRVS and the nurses. She shows us the refugees in Europe, girls accused of collaboration and women forced into slave labour or prostitution and concentration camp victims. Their roles range from bravery to stupidity and from enforced involvement to volunteering. It is told against the background of Lee Miller’s own life story which takes her from being a fashion supermodel via life as a surrealist artist to a combat photographer and finally a gourmet cook.


Anthony Penrose is the son of Lee Miller, a model, fine art photographer and noted war correspondent. And Sir Roland Penrose, the surrealist artist, poet and biographer of Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Man Ray, and Antoni Tàpies, who co-founded the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in 1947.

Following the death of his mother, a cache of her work was discovered in the attic of the family home by Antony’s late wife Suzanna. It contained some 60,000 negatives, prints and manuscripts, which made the basis of the Lee Miller Archives.  Penrose now gives lectures worldwide on photography, fine art and his parents work to museums and photographic societies


Photo ‘A Polish pilot {Anna Leska} flying a spitfire for the A.T.A., White Waltham, Berkshire, England 1942’ by Lee Miller

© Lee Miller Archives, England 2017. All rights reserved.

More Churches of Romney Marsh.
Jul 17 all-day
More Churches of Romney Marsh. @ England | United Kingdom

A follow-up to the extremely popular visit of last year. This is a chance to explore more of the historic churches with their unique location, character and history.