Thursday, 15th September 2016
Dover Castle’s spectacular site was an Iron Age hillfort many centuries before the medieval castle was built, and it still contains a Roman lighthouse and an Anglo-Saxon church. Soon after the Conquest in 1066 the Normans built a castle here, and this was developed on a grand scale by Henry II and his successors from 1180 until the 1250’s They created one of the most powerful of all medieval castles. Incorporating a square keep at its heart, it was surrounded by concentric rings of stone walls with regularly spaced wall towers, a combination unprecedented in western Europe.
The wartime tunnels are a complex warren of underground rooms and passages adapted from Napoleonic tunnels to play a crucial role during the Second World War. It was from here that Vice-Admiral Bertram Ramsay inspired and directed the Dunkirk evacuation in May and June 1940. Later in the war the tunnels served both as a large combined headquarters and as a hospital
Our next coffee morning will be on Saturday 18 June at 10:30. Clive and Sarah Webster have kindly agreed to host a coffee morning at their Jacobean house, Shoelands Seale. GU10 1HL. In the house, there is a mural by Charles Bone.
Shoelands House is on the Seale to Puttenham road (which runs parallel to and south of the Hogs Back).
Approaching from Farnham, pass through Seale, with Seale Church on the left hand side. Continue along Puttenham Road towards Puttenham for about 1.2 miles, Shoelands House is on the right hand side.
Click here for map
OS map reference: SU914477
£3.00 – pay on day enquiries 01252 702449
There will be a further coffee morning in the autumn, details to be announced later on our website.
Birmingham’s Industrial Heritage
Wednesday, 13th July to Friday 15th July 2016
We led a three day visit to Britain’s second largest city and powerhouse of the Industrial Revolution. It was once said that “if it wasn’t made in Birmingham, it wasn’t made anywhere”. We explored Britain’s Industrial Heritage with a visit to Soho House, home to Matthew Boulton the industrialist and associate of James Watt, with whom he worked on the development of the steam engine. There was a grand tour of Birmingham with a Blue Badge guide and a trip along some of Birmingham’s canals, again focusing on the Industrial Revolution. Finally there was a day’s visit to the Black Country Museum, a Living History museum, where we could walk the streets and sample the delights of Victorian Britain. For the more adventurous there was a visit a coal mine or a boat ride through some of the tunnels under Dudley from which lime was extracted. For the less adventurous was a stroll down a Victorian street with a cone of fish and chips in one hand and a slice of bread pudding in the other. We also visited Birmingham’s Art Gallery which has a particularly fine collection of Pre-Raphaelite artwork.
The cost of this tour will be £215 per person based on two people sharing a room and £280 per person for single occupancy. This includes coach travel and driver’s gratuity, admission to venues plus hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis and lunch on the first day. Lunch on the second and third days and all evening meals are not included.
Priority is given to Farnham Society members. There are still places available.
Click here for full details of the tour.
Please complete the form below for booking information.
Thursday 9th June saw the first outing of the Farnham Society for 2016.
Our destination was Bowood House near Chippenham, Wiltshire. After coffee we had an opportunity to visit the house. This was originally the service block for the “Big House”, demolished in the 1950s. The current property was an E shaped building with an orangery added across the front in later years to hide the service block from the main house. The orangery is now a sculpture gallery and an exhibition space. Currently there is an exhibition devoted to the work of Lancelot Capability Brown. The grounds at Bowood are considered to be some of his best work. The house contains many treasures including Napoleon’s death mask and jewellery given to the fifth marquis who, being down on his luck, had to get a job –as Viceroy of India.
After a particularly good lunch we were taken on a guided tour of the private walled gardens. There are four one acre gardens leading one into the other and these were looking magnificent. We visited the vegetable garden, the cutting garden, the wild flower garden and the glass house garden. Finally there was an opportunity for some to visit the lake and view the cascade. Members were astonished to learn that the grounds are managed by a team of just four gardeners. Everyone was sorry to have to board the bus back to Farnham after such a magnificent day out.