Watts Gallery - Artists' Village

Watts Gallery
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Watts Gallery — Artists' Village is a unique family day out in the Surrey Hills. Explore the newly opened Watts Studios then discover Victorian paintings and sculpture in the historic Watts Gallery before treating yourself to lunch or cream tea in The Tea Shop. Stroll to the nearby Grade-I listed Watts Chapel, taking in the beautiful woodlands and grounds, take a tour of founders G F and Mary Wattses' Grade-II listed house Limnerslease (Tuesday, Friday and Saturday only) or discover the wide selection of gifts, books and homewares in the shop. Free family trails and resources are available every day of the week.

Venue Type:

Gallery, Artist studio or collective, Archive, Museum, Heritage site, Garden, parklands or rural site

Opening hours

Tues to Sun 11.00-17.00

Closed Mondays apart from Bank Holidays

Visitor Centre & The Tea Shop open daily

Admission charges

Standard Adult: £9.50 (£10.50 including gift aid)
Students: £4.75
Children under 16: Free
Discounted Tuesdays: All tickets £4.75

Groups: Coach parties welcome if booked in advance. Group rates/ tours available.


  • National Art Pass

Additional info

Our library and archive is open to the public by appointment only.

Collection details

Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Archives

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
John Brett, Portrait of Christina Rossetti

Christina Rossetti: Vision & Verse

  • 13 November 2018 — 17 March 2019 *on now

n an exploration of the celebrated Victorian poet's significant connection with visual art, Christina Rossetti: Vision & Verse will bring together paintings, illustrations, works on paper and photography.

Presenting portraits of the poet and highlights of the many visual images inspired by her words - alongside Rossetti's own intriguing and virtually unknown drawings - this exhibition will consider Christina Rossetti's complex attitude to visual art, recognising the enduring appeal of Rossetti's verse to visual artists from the 1850s through to the present day.

Christina Rossetti (1830–1894) is among the greatest of English Victorian poets. Born in London to an intellectually minded Anglo-Italian family, Rossetti was the youngest of four supremely talented children, all of whom succeeded as artists and writers.

A precocious and deeply creative child, Rossetti had her own first book of poetry privately printed by her grandfather when she was just 16 years old. The luminous early portraits of the poet that will feature in this show, created by her Pre-Raphaelite artist-brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti, highlight the exceptionally visual and creative family environment in which she grew up. Rossetti studied art herself, attending the North London Drawing School in the early 1850s. Her own charming and rarely seen animal drawings will feature in the exhibition, as will Sing-Song, her collection of nursery rhymes for children which are by turns humorous and touching.

Christina Rossetti spent her early adulthood surrounded by, and modelling for, key figures of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. She also made her own original contributions to the movement by writing poetry for their journal The Germ. Exploring the ways in which Christina and Dante Gabriel creatively collaborated, the exhibition will feature his illustrations for Goblin Market (1862 and 1865) and The Prince's Progress (1866).

While ostensibly reclusive, Rossetti was very well connected in the British art world, and cared deeply about how her poetry was illustrated, as it was regularly from the 1850s onwards. The exhibition will include lively illustrations to her poetry by Arthur Hughes and Frederick Sandys.

From the 1860s, paintings inspired by Rossetti's poems, such as Arthur Hughes's The Mower (1865), began to appear at London exhibitions, offering freer interpretations of Rossetti's words than were usually possible with printed illustrations. The celebrated pioneer of art photography, Julia Margaret Cameron, based her composition The Minstrel Group on a poem. Sometimes the results alarmed Rossetti, but these reinterpretations set a trend for artists to reimagine her works in pencil and paint that continues to this day.

The intensity of Rossetti's vision, her colloquial style and the lyrical quality of her verse continued to speak powerfully after the poet's death in 1894, and as this exhibition will show, Rossetti's striking imagery has continued to inspire visual artists.

This exhibition is co-curated by Dr Susan Owens, an art historian and writer, and former curator of paintings at the V&A.

To coincide with our exhibition we are pleased to announce the release of an accompanying publication, Christina Rossetti: Poetry in Art (Yale University Press), £30.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Free with standard admission (£11.50) | Under 16s go free | Friends go free



Christmas in our woodlands

Christmas Weekend

  • 24 — 25 November 2018 10am-4pm

Saturday 24 - Sunday 25 November | 10am - 4pm | £13 | Under 16s go free

Following last year's sell-out event, the Christmas Weekend is back! Experience the sights, scents and sounds of midwinter.

Make beautiful Christmas crafts, from wrapping paper to wreaths and unique poetry paperchains inspired by the art and poetry of Christina Rossetti in our winter exhibition. Meet Father Christmas, enjoy performances by the Holly King and his merry band and festive music and carols.

Taste warming food and fill your basket with seasonal delights from our artisan stallholders and our unique shop.

Please book early to avoid disappointment.

Suitable for

  • Any age


£13 per adult | Under 16s go free



Watts Gallery - Artists' Village
Down Lane

logo: Heritage Open Days 2014






01483 810235


01483 810285

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.