Annual General Meeting of the Society – Saturday May 12th 2018

These will be held separately this year. The Annual General Meeting of the Society will be held on Saturday 12th May at 11.30 in the Seminar Room, the Henry Moore Institute, The Headrow, Leeds (adjacent to the Art Gallery, on the Lower Ground floor). All members are welcome. There will be no special lecture this year on account of the many other activities being organised, but the Chairman and Hon Curator will give informal guided tours of the exhibition at the Museum after lunch.


A Spring Study Visit to Scampston Hall and Burton Agnes Hall – Monday May 21 2018

An interesting day has been arranged visiting Scampston Hall near Malton followed by Burton Agnes Hall near Driffield including lunch at the latter. The Scampston Estate was purchased by the St. Quintin family towards the end of the seventeenth century and has remained in the family ever since, currently home to Christopher and Miranda Legard. The original house was remodelled in 1800 in the Regency style by architect, Thomas Leverton (architect of Bedford Square in London). Highlights of Leverton’s design include the Staircase Hall and the Library, the latter with marble pilasters and attached columns framing the bow window. The fine picture collection includes works by Gainsborough who was a personal friend of Sir William St.Quintin, 4th Bart. The house also contains an interesting collection of decorative art, including some fine furniture attributed to Chippendale, which we will enjoy examining on a private tour when the house is not normally open to the public. A light lunch will be provided at Burton Agnes followed by a tour of the house. The Burton Agnes Estate has also been in the hands of the same family for many years since Roger de Stuteville first built a manor house on the site in 1173. It is a fine example of Tudor Renaissance architecture with superb carving and plasterwork, including its magnificent hall screen and staircase. The architect, Robert Smythson was a Master Mason to Queen Elizabeth 1 and also the builder of Longleat, Wollaton and Hardwick. The fine collection of early furniture including a Nonsuch chest is complemented by a wonderful art collection including works by Gainsborough and Reynolds and Impressionists such as Matisse, Renoir, Pissarro and Gaugin. There should be time available to see the gardens.

The cost is £65 per person to include Britannia Travel coach, coffee at Scampston, entrance and tours of both houses and a two-course light lunch, payable by 7th February Please apply for places on the form supplied with the Newsletter


Annual Dinner – June 5th 2018

The Annual Dinner will be held at Otley Golf Club, with its incomparable views towards Wharfedale, on Tuesday 5th June 7.00 for 7.30.

This will be the 300th anniversary to the day of Thomas Chippendale’s baptism at Otley Parish Church.  Our Guest of Honour is Anthony Coleridge, formerly of Christie’s, the pioneering scholar whose early researches and discoveries paved the way for much of our present understanding of Chippendale’s work.

Members of the Society can book for this event using the forms included with the recent newsletter.


A Three Night Summer Study Visit to Dumfries House, Mount Stuart, Drumlanrig Castle and Hutton-in-theForest July 24th – 27th 2018

A four-day study trip has been arranged to incorporate four very different houses – Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfries and Galloway, Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute, Dumfries House in Ayrshire and Hutton-in-the-Forest in Cumbria. On our way north, stopping for coffee en route, our first visit is to Drumlanrig Castle home to the Dukes of Buccleuch and Queensberry KBE. Built between 1679 and 1691 by William Douglas, 1st Duke of Queensberry, this picture-perfect home is built to enjoy the views over the Nith Valley. After a light lunch, our private tour will take in the fabulous collection including cabinets by Andre Charles Boulle and wonderful portraits by Gainsborough, Alan Ramsey and Sir Joshua Reynolds. Later in the afternoon there should be time to visit the beautiful gardens. On our second day we travel to the Isle of Bute to Mount Stuart, the seat of the Stuarts of Bute, descendants of Robert the Bruce. Built originally in 1719 by the 2nd Earl of Bute, it was rebuilt after a serious fire by the 3rd Marquess of Bute, the great patron of William Burges, in the Gothic Revival style seen at its most extreme at Cardiff Castle and Castel Coch. The style reaches its most refined and extravagant at Mount Stuart.  Our visit not only encompasses a tour of the house but also a look at the William Burges designed Oratory and also the heated swimming pool, one of the first in the country since Roman times. After lunch we will enjoy a special collections talk focussing on the wonderful collection of silver. Time is allocated to allow a walk around the gardens. Our third visit is to Dumfries House in Ayrshire built in the 1750s for William Dalrymple, 5th Earl of Dumfries, by John and Robert Adam. It is of course Chippendale’s most complete and best surviving early commission. A great deal has happened since the Society last visited the house 10 years ago, soon after it had been saved by Prince Charles. We will have a private tour from the experienced guides enabling us to admire the furniture and works of art especially created for the house. After a light lunch we will enjoy a lecture by James Lomax and time to enjoy the newly restored parkland.  Finally, on our fourth day we break our journey south with a visit to Hutton-in-the-Forest home of Lord Inglewood’s family since 1605.Built around a medieval Pele tower, this was originally a fortress, and both inside and outside illustrate a wide range of decorative styles. Highlights include the unusually vulgar Cupid staircase, the Victorian library filled with Gillows furniture and Lady Darlington’s bedroom decorated in the Arts and Crafts style. Our visit here is enhanced by admission to one of the UK’s largest ceramics selling exhibition, Potfest and throughout the House we will have observed the Inglewood’s passion for collecting modern ceramics. This will be a true finale to a wonderful four-day study tour.

The cost is £495 (£570 for sole use bedroom) per person to include Britannia Coach Travel, all entrances tours and lectures as described, 3 nights bed, breakfast and dinner at the four-star Western House Hotel in Ayr, three lunches and one morning coffee. A deposit of £75 per person is required by 7th February with the balance due by 1st June.



Our first visit will be an afternoon tour of Althorp, home to the Spencer family for over 500 years, principally a Restoration house but radically altered from 1788 by the architect, Henry Holland, with superbly restrained and elegant interiors. The house is famous for its great paintings by British and Old Masters and the furnishings, many originally at Spencer House, including pieces designed by Athenian Stuart and John Vardy and made by William and John Gordon, Ince and Mayhew, Seddon’s, and French makers (some living in London), and unique collections of ceramics and silver.
On our second day we first visit Wimpole Hall, one of the most interesting and complex country houses in East Anglia. Built in the mid C17 by the Chicheley family, bought by the Duke of Newcastle, given to his son-in-law Edward Harley, Earl of Oxford, sold to Philip Yorke, Earl of Hardwicke, and finally bought in 1938 by Elsie Bainbridge, daughter of Rudyard Kipling. Architects and artists associated with its history include James Gibbs and James Thornhill (chapel) Henry Flitcroft and John Soane, Charles Bridgeman, Capability Brown and Humphrey Repton. Despite sales and depredations there are a remarkable number of indigenous works of art remaining in the house, augmented by the Bainbridge’s own fine, sometimes quirky collections.
In the afternoon we make our way to Anglesey Abbey. Originally an Augustinian priory, it was bought by Huttleston and Henry Broughton in 1926, sons of Urban Broughton, who had made his fortune in mining and railways in America. Huttleston Broughton became the first Lord Fairhaven and used his wealth to indulge his interests in history, art, and garden design and to lead an eighteenth century lifestyle at his house. The collection is an eclectic mix including a Roentgen writing desk made for Tsar Paul I, Chippendale’s dressing table for David Garrick, a Congreve clock, Bruges and Mortlake tapestries and Ming porcelain. Silver was a particular interest and there are two enormous silver chandeliers made to the designs of William Kent for George II’s use at Hanover by Balthasar Friedrich Behrens. The 23 acres of gardens are some of the most beautiful in East Anglia and our visit will coincide with the flowering of the extensive dahlia collection.


On our third day we visit Audley End, the gleaming Prodigy House built by Thomas Howard, between 1605 and 1614 as a palace suitable to entertain the king. Reputedly costing over £200,000, the monarch visited once after which Howard fell from grace, burdened with debt. A reprieve came in 1666 when Charles II bought it to be near the racing at Newmarket. Soon reverting back to the Howards, still burdened with debt, the house was reduced in size by Sir John Vanbrugh. A later owner, Sir John Griffin Griffin, (later Lord Howard de Walden) used Capability Brown to redesign the grounds and Robert Adam to design a new suite of rooms in the south wing. The house contains the superb Howard/ Braybrooke collection of pictures, plate and natural history. Among the highlights of the furniture is the superb state bed made for Queen Charlotte in 1786 at the immense cost of nearly £400 exclusive of upholstery, a series of Chinese Chippendale armchairs, Gothick furniture for the Chapel, a wildly rococo ‘English’ bombé commode. Audley End is an eccentric and often confusing mix of Jacobean, Georgian and Victorian architecture and decor and nothing is more shocking than walking from the exquisite Adam interiors to the Jacobean Great Hall clothed in early Victorian antiquarianism. The gardens are delightful with Robert Adam designing the neo-Classical bridge, the Temple of Victory, and the Tea House. A light lunch is included in our visit.
The cost is £380 per person [£430 per person for sole use bedroom] to include Britannia Coach travel, all entrances and tours as described, 2 nights Dinner, Bed and Breakfast at the comfortable Down Hall Hotel at Hatfield Heath (where we stayed in 2016), and one lunch. Participants from the South who prefer not to join in Yorkshire can meet the coach at Althorp by going by train to Northampton and taking a taxi to Althorp, less than ten miles.  A deposit of £75 is required by Friday 20th April to secure a place and the balance is due by Friday 20th July.

Members can apply for this trip using the  form enclosed/attached with the recent newsletter.