Society members enjoyed the annual visit to Belmont School and pre-Christmas walk on Saturday 4th December. Belmont is housed in a magnificent Arts and Crafts house designed by architect George T Redmayne in 1877, for Edwin Waterhouse one of the founders of the firm Price Waterhouse Co, in London. The house contains an original William Morris (1834 –1896) tapestry and William De Morgan (1839-1917) tiles. (They are two of the most famous designers of from the Arts and Crafts Movement).
Holmbury Hill is a pleasant (if steep) walk from the school grounds up through the village of Holmbury St Mary. This village is supposed to be the influence for local author, Edward Morgan Forster’s book, “A Room with a View”. The summit of the Holmbury Hill is the site of an ancient hill fort. At 856ft above sea level it is one of the highest points in the south of England and appears to have been a fort since at least 100BC.
After our compulsory annual photograph at the summit, the group returned to the school to meet the long serving Headmistress, Mrs Helen Skrine and learn more about the history of the house and the school (originally a prep school but now being a weekly boarding school for the up to 16 year olds). For more details click here.
President of the Society, Chris Howard said, “I love returning to Belmont School each year on the first Saturday in December. It kick starts the festive season with a bracing walk to a stunning viewpoint in the Surrey Hills and then mulled wine in the gorgeous galleried front entrance hall of Belmont School.”