Watch our online lectures for just £5!

This page lists our future online lectures and the recordings of past lectures which are available to watch again. Both future and past events can be accessed for just £5 each. Access to a live event also allows you to watch the recording again at time which suits you.

Our upcoming lectures:

Mr ‘Brass’ Benson: The Unassuming Genius of the Arts and Crafts Movement

W.A.S. Benson (1854-1924), the son of a JP, was born into a large, middle class family and spent his formative years in Alresford, Hampshire. Benson studied Classics and Philosophy at New College, Oxford then trained as an architect with Basil Champneys, but decided to ‘go into trade’ through the formation of his own business (retailing his own designs) in 1880. With a wide circle of friends in the arts, most notably Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris, Benson was a member from the inception of what late became known as the Arts and Crafts Movement, he was instrumental in the formation of the Art Workers’ Guild and The Combined Arts Exhibition Society (which became the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society). Benson’s output was extremely prolific and varied, spanning lighting, metalware, joinery, wallpapers, fabrics, and architecture. This lecture will explore these different themes and examine both his influence on other designers and plagiarists. This wide-ranging lecture is lavishly illustrated with images, many drawn from the seminal work on Benson: ‘WAS Benson: Arts and Crafts Luminary and Pioneer of Modern Design’, I Hamerton (Ed.), Antique Collectors’ Club, 2005.

Professor Ian Hamerton is an academic with a passion for the Arts and Crafts Movement and he holds the chair in Polymers and Composite Materials in the Bristol Composites Institute (Department of Aerospace Engineering) at the University of Bristol. Ian has delivered many lectures on notable Arts and Crafts architect/designers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to many learned societies. A Voysey scholar and enthusiast, he is the honorary President of the CFA Voysey Society, having previously lived in a Voysey-designed lodge in Surrey. Formerly, he was the Vice Chair and Chair of the Society for the Arts and Crafts Movement in Surrey (ACMS).

Wed, Nov 25, 2020 7:00 PM - Click here to book!

An American Trilogy: Richardson, Sullivan, Wright

Henry Hobson Richardson (1838-1886), Louis Henry Sullivan (1856-1924) and Frank Lloyd Wight (1867- 1959) form a triumvirate of American architects whose work can be best referred to as Organic Architecture. Born of the years following the Civil War and of the great expansion west, its genesis had been in books like Henry David Thoreau’s Walden; or Life in the Woods (1854) and George Perkins Marsh’s Man and Nature; or, Physical Geography as Modified by Human Action (1864). Theirs was an architecture which aimed to save the landscape from despoliation, an architecture which was, at times, literally hewn out of the ground on which it stood. Yet there was much more to it than that. Both Richardson and Sullivan had trained at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and brought back with them from France the influence of the Romanesque and Classicism. When offered the opportunity to study there, Wright declined, but nevertheless learnt from Sullivan, for whom he worked, the principles of Classical planning which, overlaid with the influence of Japanese architecture, allowed him to ‘explode the box’.

This online lecture by Neil Jackson will examine a selection of buildings by the three architects from the time following Richardson’s return from Paris in 1865 to Wright’s departure for Europe in 1909 (when he eloped with his client’s wife, Mamah Borthwick Cheney) and the subsequent publication the following year, by Ernst Wasmuth of Berlin, of his monumental Ausgeführte Bauten und Entwürfe von Frank Lloyd Wright.

Tue, Dec 1, 2020 7:00 PM - Click here to book!

The David Parr House - An Extraordinary Cambridge Home

Decorated in the late Victorian era this house lay undiscovered until a few years ago when its extraordinary story began to be uncovered.

David Parr was a 'decorator artist' who worked for some of our best known Victorian designers of the day such as William Morris and George Bodley. He decorated church's and palaces for those who could afford such decoration but in his spare time he come home and decorated his humble terrace house in the same style. Lived in by his granddaughter until a few years ago its interior remained a wondrous hidden secret. Now it will be saved, restored and opened up to the public so that many more can enjoy its unique atmosphere.

Tamsin Wimhurst is a Trustee and founder of the David Parr House Charity which was set up in 2014 in order to conserve it and open up the house to the public. Her first job was as a teacher where she spent many an hour taking classes to museums and art galleries. Then when her children were young she developed a business around pre-school music before taking up a job as the Educational Officer of the Folk Museum. Since then she has developed many educational programs, projects and exhibitions, working with a wide variety of communities and organisations in order to help them access their history and encourage an interest in their past. She has researched into a wide variety of things including Laundry work, River swimming, Women workers and Celebrations. She is a passionate supporter of small independent museums, with a special interest in the local where she sees the nation’s history unfold through the lives of individuals and their families.

Thu, Dec 10, 2020 7:00 PM, or watch later – Click here to book!

Missed a lecture? You can still purchase tickets to replays of past lectures here:

Arts and Crafts Churches

Arts & Crafts Churches. What are they? Where are they? And, come to that, why are they? Do they even exist? If so, how can you recognise them? What sets them apart? Why are they important? And why don’t we know about them? More to the point, why has there never been a book about them – before now?

Dr Alec Hamilton started researching the subject in 2005, first as a modest BA dissertation (5 churches), then as a doctoral thesis (35 churches) – and last month his book, Arts & Crafts Churches, was published by Lund Humphries (over 200 churches).
Between 1880, say, and 1920, why were people building churches at all, when believing in God was no longer obligatory, necessary or even the norm? And why did these churches look unlike those of the High Victorian Gothic Revival, yet not quite reach towards Modernism? What was ‘No-Longer-Victorian’ about them, and the idiosyncratic people who built them?
In this talk he introduces – briefly – the best-known: Holy Trinity, Sloane Street; All Saints, Brockhampton; St Andrew, Roker. Then he touches on ten of the less well-known. And, finally, examines 15 of the truly obscure, and the beautiful, often puzzling furnishings and decorations they contain. Your most pressing, nagging, sceptical and contrarian questions will be welcomed.

Click here to watch for £5!

The New Vauxhall, Southwark and Lambeth Bridges

We are very excited to have historian and architect Benedict O'Looney discuss landmark collaborations between architects, engineers & town planners in the twilight of Beaux Arts London. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries eight of central London’s bridges were rebuilt to accommodate the expansion of traffic, movement, and commerce in Europe’s largest city. This talk tells the story of three of these new bridges built in the first decades of the 20th century. Pressure from the public & architectural community, and a determination not to be outdone by Paris ensured that three of Britain’s leading Edwardian architects, Richard Norman Shaw, Sir Ernest George and Sir Reginald Blomfield were commissioned to help design these structures. These new bridges combined the latest techniques of steel & reinforced concrete construction with architectural panache. They can be celebrated as some of the last achievements of the Beaux Arts improvements of the public realm in the Imperial Capital.

Click here to access the replay for £5!

Ernest Gimson: Arts & Crafts Designer and Architect

After training as an architect in Leicester and London, Ernest Gimson (1864–1919) left city life behind to make a different kind of career in the country. From his base in the Cotswolds, he practised two crafts himself and established workshops to make fine furniture, turned chairs and metalwork to his design. This talk will cover the range of his work, including his distinctive architectural projects and some little-known embroideries. Annette Carruthers is co-author with Mary Greensted and Barley Roscoe of a new book on Gimson published by Yale University Press in 2019: Ernest Gimson: Arts & Crafts Designer and Architect. She has worked as a museum curator with the Arts & Crafts collections in Leicester and Cheltenham and taught at the University of St Andrews until 2014.

Click here to access the replay for £5!

Not all Lutyens: another look at Victorian and Edwardian Surrey

The Surrey volume of the Buildings of England was published in 1962 and was the first of the guides for which Nikolaus Pevsner shared his duties for fieldwork and writing. Pevsner reserved the northern areas of the county for himself and handed over the rest to Ian Nairn, 'who as his text proves, is a born topographer'. This gave the Surrey a unique style and character among the first volumes. Bridget Cherry's second edition followed in 1971 but the first full-scale revision of the county is now underway, excluding much of the area originally covered by Pevsner which was absorbed into Greater London in 1965. In our next online talk, Charles O'Brien - editor of the Pevsner Architectural Guides, will reflect on Nairn's interests and enthusiasms and some of the idiosyncrasies of his opinions and writing, while also reminding us of the centrality of the county to the history of English architecture in the late Victorian and Edwardian period. Along with consideration of some of the best known buildings of the time, he will offer insights into some of the lesser known places and architects and some new discoveries.

Click here to access the replay for £5!

The Pub Unwrapped and the Golden Age of Pub-Building

We are excited to have architectural historian Geoff Brandwood taking us on a virtual exploration of our Victorian pubs in our online lecture on Wednesday 9th September. Geoff will be taking a look at one of our great British institutions and their historic fabrics. From small country pubs and old inns, he will show how the pub as we know it was essentially a Victorian creation with a truly magnificent flowering in the closing years of the nineteenth century. Geoff has co-authored and edited a number of books on pubs, as well has being heavily involved with the Victorian Society for many years. He has played a key role in the Campaign for Real Ale's fight to preserve historic pub interiors.

Click here to access the replay for £5!

A Passion for Pattern: Victorian Wallpapers

Joanna Banham has over 25-years of experience in the arts, having worked for many renowned organisations such as Tate Britain, The Royal Academy and the V&A. The Victorian period witnessed massive changes in the manufacture and consumption of wallpaper: a product that had previously been a luxury item became available to all but the very poorest of homes. It also saw a huge proliferation of different styles that included glamorous French-inspired florals, severe geometric Gothic designs, trompe l’ceil architectural, mosaic, and stone effects, and the innovative work of Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement. Joanna will discuss features such as nursery designs, relief decorations, arsenical pigments, and explore the many different ways that wallpaper was used in the decoration of the Victorian home.

Click here to access the replay for £5.00

The Edwardians and their Houses

Timothy Brittain-Catlin is well known for his writings and work on A.W.N. Pugin and the domestic architecture of early Victorian Britain. This lecture is based on his recent book, The Edwardians and their Houses: The New Life of Old England. Edwardian domestic architecture was beautiful and varied in style and the book provides a radical overview of the subject that show how this period offered innovative new building types for weekends, sport and suburban living and what that reveals about Edwardian attitudes to old architecture, health and science. He discusses how when it comes to Edwardian architecture, there is still much to discover. Even very small buildings reflect contemporary preoccupations and, in particular, the land reform ideas of the ruling Liberal Party.

Click here to access the replay for £5.00

Queen Victoria's Railways

Queen Victoria made her first railway journey, from Slough to Paddington, in June 1842. She pronounced herself 'quite charmed' with the experience, and was a regular railway user for the rest of her life. This illustrated virtual lecture will be led by celebrated author and historian Dr Steven Brindle - who will take you on an in-depth exploration of Queen Victoria's use of the railways. Steven will discuss how Queen Victoria got to and from Windsor, Osborne and Balmoral, he will explore some of the special stations, waiting rooms and trains that were built for her, and her longer continental rail journeys, with a look at the special arrangements made for this unique passenger.

Click here to access the replay for £5.00

Victorian Society events are publicised to members below and in the 'Blue Sheet' with our mailings in February, June and October. Some require booking, others you can just turn up on the day.

For events organised by our regional groups, please see the regional group pages:

Birmingham & West Midlands; Leicester; Liverpool; Manchester; West Yorkshire; South Yorkshire and Wales.

We're always looking for volunteers to put on events for us. Please contact our Events Administrator for more information.