Yesterday I had a day out with friends and we first went down to the Watts Chapel in Compton. This was my second visit and it was still absolutely breathtaking. It was built by Mary Seton Watts in 1896 to commerate her husband, the pre-raphelite painter, G F Watts and for the people of Compton. It is stunning, so rich and full of texture and symbolism. It is well worth a visit if you are in the area. Above, I was lying on the floor trying to get a good shot of the ceiling.
The angels and most of the decoration inside, are moulded from gesso. Angels circle the chapel, some facing forwards, some backwards.
The outside is all carved terracotta, notice that the faces over the doorway are all different.
Outside in the graveyard there are some wonderful terracotta grave stones and I think this would have to be my favourite, beautiful scroll work shaped like a heart.
Just along the way is the Watts Gallery, unfortunately closed at the moment for refurbishment but the Tea Rooms are open and the food is brilliant. Tea is served in mis-matching vintage china and is a delight for the eyes. On the outside tables sit old vintage teapots with plants in them. The Tea Rooms have won awards and I for one, think they are richly deserved.
Then off we went to visit Guildford Cathedral, once used in the film the Omen. It is on an impressive sight, overlooking the city but after the exhuberent decoration of the Watts Chapel the cathedral was very plain but full of light.
Then onwards to Brookwood Cemetary which is vast, the biggest cemetary in England and possibly Europe. Unfortunately they are quite strict about photography and as we only decided to visit a few days ago there wasn't time to do a written request for a permit so no photos folks but I can say fabulous monuments, statues and mausoleums, even found a mosaiced grave stone so think I can safely say I will go back hopefully with a permit. We found the grave of Edith Thompson, the last woman to be hanged in England, her remains, together with other prisoners remains, were moved there when the prison wanted to expand. It was quite sad to see, tucked away in a corner. All in all a very interesting day.
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