Watts Gallery: Artists' studios to open to public

Image caption George Frederic Watts and Mary Watts started working at Limnerslease in 1891

The studios of two Victorian artists are to open to the public for the first time.

Painter and sculptor George Frederic Watts, and his wife, the designer Mary Watts, regularly lived and worked at Limnerslease in Compton, Surrey.

The Watts Gallery Trust has recreated GF Watts' studio and restored and remodelled Mrs Watts' workspace in the Grade II listed property's east wing.

Limnerslease was split into three homes when Mrs Watts died in 1938.

'Incredible legacy'

Trust director Perdita Hunt said the studios offered a "unique window upon the Arts and Crafts movement".

It was able to buy and restore parts of the building which had been modernised more than 70 years ago, thanks to a £2.4m lottery grant and individual donations.

Ms Hunt added: "We are grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund and to the trusts, foundations and many generous individuals who are enabling us to save this important part of our cultural heritage, and who share our vision of upholding this incredible legacy by establishing an Artists' Village here in Compton."

The public will be able to visit the studios and exhibitions in the east wing of Limnerslease from Tuesday.

The trust said it was still working to secure the rest of the building.

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