Limnerslease

George Frederic Watts, Emery Walker Ltd; George Andrews, published 1912 (6 June 1895) (x27301) © National Portrait Gallery, London
George Frederic Watts, Emery Walker Ltd;
George Andrews, published 1912 (6 June 1895) (x27301)
© National Portrait Gallery, London


The village of Compton in Surrey is home to Limnerslease. In 1890 Watts was encouraged by his friend Andrew Hitchens to purchase land for a new house, to be built by Ernest George. They named the plot of land Limnerslease, and obtained the freehold in 1899. This house became the autumn and winter residence for George and Mary Watts and the centre of their artistic efforts.

Limnerslease gave Watts the space to tackle his large scale works, and Mary, freed from the constraints of life at Little Holland House, grew as an artist. She worked with the local community and created artistic employment for them. Her legacy is clear in the mortuary chapel in Compton, where her own unique vision was realised by local workers.

In 1902 Watts bought a further 3 acres of land in Compton, across the road from his house, with the intention of building a separate picture gallery. The gallery opened in April 1904, only several months before his death in July of that year. Today Limnerslease and the Watts Galley at Compton are a living memorial to Watts.




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Letter from G. F. Watts, Limnerslease to Briton Rivière, 6 February 1896 (GFW/1/13/127) © National Portrait Gallery, London

Letter from G. F. Watts,
Limnerslease to Briton Rivière,
6 February 1896
(GFW/1/13/127)
© National Portrait Gallery, London

Letter from G. F. Watts, Limnerslease to Henry Austin Bruce Aberdare, 1st Baron, 21 November 1892 (GFW/1/12/1) © National Portrait Gallery, London

Letter from G. F. Watts,
Limnerslease to Henry Austin Bruce Aberdare, 1st Baron, 21 November 1892 (GFW/1/12/1)
© National Portrait Gallery, London

Further information

Useful resources

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/nra/default.asp

http://copac.ac.uk/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/

http://npgvm-eos/EOSWeb/OPAC/Index.asp

http://www.wattsgallery.org.uk/

https://www.npg.org.uk/research/programmes/directory-of-suppliers/w.php

http://www.winsornewton.com/