Thousands of photographs taken and numerous sketches made, but what lingers is a memory of warm welcomes, fireside chats, and a feeling that this trip was important in so many ways.
Seventeen members came together for the first annual Lutyens Intensive. This year focused on Lutyens’s Arts and Crafts designs in Surrey, using Goddards as our home base. Each day we toured various Lutyens’s homes, returning in the evening to Goddards for fireside discussions followed by delicious dinners in the Common Room. We were fortunate to have Lady Alexandra Wedgwood, Clive Aslet, Frances Edwards, and Sarah Dickinson as special guests for these discussions, along with Charlotte Lockhart and Andrew Barnes.
At dawn each day, a group met to sketch before breakfast. In the evening after dinner, a skittles game was likely to break out.
Warm welcomes awaited us at each of the places we were fortunate to visit. Our tour began where Edwin Lutyens began, at Thursley. We were greeted with tea, coffee, biscuits, and smiles. Our walking tour of Thursley included the home Lutyens grew up in, his local church, and several early works such as the Institute and the Corner. We finished with a delightful pub lunch at The Three Horseshoes and a special talk by Martin Lutyens, who came armed with a poacher’s rifle, a sword, and a very special watch.
- At Crooksbury, we saw Lutyens’s work over several phases of design, imagining even the second phase that was covered by the third.
- At Tigbourne, the symmetry of the entry façade was married with the more informal garden facades and the beautiful detailing of the interior.
- Munstead Wood was a very special treat—imagining Gertrude Jekyll sitting in her Thunder House or walking down the lane to church. Head Gardner Annabel Watts’ passion for Jekyll’s garden design was impressive.
- In addition to Munstead Wood, we were privileged to visit The Hut and see it in the process of being lovingly restored.
- At Marylands, Lutyens’s impact on the next generation of architects was evident in Oliver Hill’s unique design that is nevertheless sprinkled with architectural quotations from Lutyens.
- At Chinthurst Hill, our group was given the gift of being able to roam through a house being completely redone with the exterior under scaffolding and the interiors stripped of furnishings. We imagined the end result and will hope to see the finished project someday.
- At Ruckmans we witnessed Lutyens’s working in his Arts and Crafts vernacular then coming back later with a Neo-Georgian music room addition. Seeing this building in person was so important since photographs tell only a partial story of the juxtaposition of these two styles.
From the inception of the Lutyens Trust America, there has been a warm and supportive relationship between our organization and the Lutyens Trust in the UK. This was demonstrated time and time again during the planning for this trip as well as during the week we were at Goddards. Martin Lutyens, Rebecca Lilley, and Paul Waite were instrumental in shaping our itinerary. Claire Hill was a tremendous help both prior to and during our trip. Clive Aslet was with us for the entire week, with Martin Lutyens and Candia Lutyens joining us for various tours. The developing friendship between our two organizations was also amply demonstrated by the warm welcome we received during the Anniversary Dinner at the RIBA. We were pleased to be included in such a special evening
The week became not only a very special look at Lutyens’s early designs, but an interesting conversation between Lutyens’s enthusiasts about his architectural legacy and the importance of passing the lessons learned to future generations.
A very special thank you to all the owners that made these visits possible!