Saturday, 15 August 2015


It looks like I am starting a national tour of small art galleries that are dedicated to the local artist and are located in places that begin with 'C'. Last week it was the Stanley Spencer gallery in Cookham, today it is the Watts Gallery in Compton.

I was going to call this posting "Compton (and Guildford re-visited)" but it looks like my previous visit to Guildford was not recorded on this blog. So just imagine that you have seen all the pictures of the clocks in the town centre, but were wondering why I hadn't include the two on Farnham Road west of the station.

Oh look, we are on Farnham Road to the west of the station, on the 2.5 mile walk to the village of Compton. And this minimalist clock sits atop an office building on the corner of Guildford Park Road.

 Just a little further up the road is a hospital, which goes by the not very imaginative but useful to locate name of Farnham Road Hospital.

It is a lovely building with a charming clock tower. It was opened in April 1866 as a general hospital, but is now a specialist mental health facility. Luckily these buildings that front the main road are being retained in the current major re-build of the site.

After a long walk along a bust road with only a narrow footpath, you eventually arrive at the Watts Gallery, which shows the work of local artist George Frederic Watts (1817 - 1904). Watts is best known for his painting Hope, his statue Physical Energy in Kensington Gardens, London, and for the Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice in Postman's Park, London.

But no clocks at the gallery, so it is onwards down the road to see Compton Village Hall, completed in 1934.

The time seems to be permanently set at 12.31 - it is always lunchtime in Compton.

St Nicholas church in Compton dates back to before 1066, although with all sorts of alterations, additions and rebuilds in the subsequent centuries.

The clock mechanism dates from the 17th century, and is of a one-hand design. The clock face is of oak, and was last replaced in 1952.

It is now a long walk back to Guildford, although I think I will save my legs and get the number 46 bus.

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