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Archaeology and Heritage
Visit to Guildford Cathedral, Watts Chapel and Compton Church
Date: 21st April 12
Location: Guildford Cathedral, Stag Hill, Guildford
Contact: Martin Fletcher
Phone: 01908 582423
Group: Archaeology and Heritage
Three very different religious buildings feature on this outing, all in the Guildford area. We will meet outside Guildford Cathedral at 1000 to start photography at 1030.
The diocese of Guildford was created in the early 20th C, and soon after the first bishop was appointed in 1927 plans were made to build a cathedral on a new site above the town. Work was suspended during the war, and the substantially complete building by Edward Maufe was consecrated in 1961, though work continued for many years after (see www.guildford-cathedral.org/gallery).
There is a refectory at Guildford, so refreshments may be taken before we travel the few miles to Compton, where two contrasting sights await. The Watts Gallery is dedicated to the artist George Frederick Watts, and opened in 1906. There is a beautiful chapel attached, designed and built by Mary Watts, in a manner which fuses her own style with Art Nouveau, Celtic, Romanesque and Egyptian influences.
St. Nicholas Church in Compton is substantially Norman, although some of the masonry is Saxon. Uniquely it contains a two-storey sanctuary (chancel). The upper storey is galleried, and may have later been a chapel. Connected to the sanctuary is an anchorhold, a small cell where an anchorite (hermit) would live and pray, with a view through a squint from the cell to the church altar.
Please note: Admission and photography is free at Guildford Cathedral, but it is customary to make a donation to church funds. There is an admission charge at Watts Gallery (£7.50), and the gallery has suggested a £5 donation for photography in the chapel.