Yesterday the Lewis Carroll Society organised a walk from Guildford station to Compton, about 2-3 miles away. So it was my chance to see the Ellen Terry show in the Watts Gallery (below). Terry had a short lived early marriage with GF Watts (the painter whom the gallery commemorates).

There wasn't anything about Lewis Carroll in the exhibition, actually, but there were films and recordings of Ellen Terry which indicated what a compelling actress she was. Lewis Carroll spotted her potential when she was nine years old, and appeared on the stage in a play he was watching. He always hugely admired her.

The walk to the gallery was really wonderful. It took us over the beautiful Surrey countryside, through woods

Surrey woods

and downland. It was here, on the downs above Guildford, that Carroll got the idea (and the last line) of Hunting of the Snark, and his walks in the area inspired him to write much of the rest of this curious poem.

As you can see from the top photo, there was also an exhibition on Peter Blake. I've never been a great fan of his work but I do like his "Alice" illustrations and these were in the show, together with some much larger works. Afterwards, we went down the road and up the hill to the chapel designed by Watts's second wife Mary in the most remarkable eclectic style - here are some LCS members outside a memorial gallery

The chapel is quite impossible to classify. Its extraordinary interior decorations are in vaguely Arts and Crafts style and mostly created from pottery tiles, Mary's passion. These pictures can only give an idea of the overall effect.


The exterior was mostly of terracotta, with vaguely Celtic decorations by Mary Watts

As far as I know Mary Watts never did any other major projects, other than decorate some of the interior of the home she shared with Watts. In my personal opinion, the chapel is more intriguing than anything that either Watts or Peter Blake have done!