Leicester Decorative and Fine Arts Society

A member of the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies

Breaking and latest news

This page has the latest news - please keep coming back to check for the latest information and click on the ‘refresh’ button to update your computers information.

Why not write an article for the e-newsletter and the web site?  Contact Janet Groome on 0116 279 2280 with any questions.

Please note the new telephone number for Pam Stokes our Membership Secretary -

0116 241 5895

Art Treasures of Dresden With Lars Tharp NADFAS Tour, open to all societies.

October 2–6, 2016, £1250

Explore the cultural riches of the city long considered the ‘jewel box’ of Germany with ACE Cultural Tours  

For further details please contact Gillian Harvey by calling 01223 841055 or email gill@aceculturaltours.co.uk.  

Click here for the brochure and booking details

Oundle Music Festival  8 - 16 July

Discover Arts at the Phoenix Cinema  Tue 5 Jul, 7.30pm

St Peter's and The Papal Basilicas 12A

St Peter’s And The Papal Basilicas Of Rome brings completely new footage of St Peter’s, St John Lateran, St Mary Major, St Paul Outside The Walls and the works of art enshrined within them to the big screen.

Antonio Paolucci, director of the Vatican Museums, Paolo Portoghesi, internationally renowned architect, Claudio Strinati, celebrated art historian, and Micol Forti, director of the Vatican Museums Collection Of Contemporary Art, guide us through the story of the basilicas, their evolution over the centuries and their most famous works of art.

Seats bookable.

Under the open sky: Newlyn & Lamorna Artists 1880-1940

A Study Day with Catherine Wallace 24th October 2016

Great Ponton Village Hall  Organised by Holland & Kesteven DFAS  

Click here for further details.

Peter Medhurst's Musical Odysseys - ‘The Music & Art of Rome’

Tailored Travel is delighted to be organising Peter Medhurst’s latest tours of ‘The Music & Art of Rome’ departing 8 November 2016 and 1 March 2017.  Click here for details.


Douglas Smith

Paintings . sketches . journeys

These are the brushstrokes of an adventurous spirit, exploring the variety of buildings, landscapes and furnishings of the 20th century throughout Europe, anada, North and South America, Japan, Australia, Russia and China.

Douglas Smith is a long standing member of the LDFAS and many people will have been on his LDFAS trips.

This book would make a wonderful present.  The money will go to the Hope Foundation for Cancer Research.

Normal price £16.99) or £25 for two, either cheque or cash.

Click here for a report on the launch of the book

National Trust has acquired Stoneywell - the Gimson house in Leicestershire click here to go to the National Trust page with details of times and prices.

Visits must be pre booked. The tour of the house is guided, the gardens are beautiful and the tea room is excellent!  The house is small and the staircases are winding, it is an uphill walk to the house so it is not suitable for people with mobility problems.

Gimson’s drawing of Stoneywell  July 1898

Why save Stoneywell?

Set in the Charnwood Forest, Stoneywell is the only remaining cottage of its kind in Leicestershire. It’s one of only a handful of notable Arts and Crafts houses in England. It will also be only the second place National Trust property we have in the county.

As well as the cottage, gardens, outbuildings and woodland, Stoneywell retains many of its original contents. There is also a significant archive which has a wealth of historical material.

The history of Stoneywell

Stoneywell, a Grade II* listed property, was designed in 1898 by the locally-born architect, designer and craftsman Ernest Gimson (1864-1919). Gimson was a well-known contributor to the Arts & Crafts Movement in England in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with many connections to other key members of the movement including William Morris.

Gimson designed the cottage for his elder brother Sydney and wife Jeanie, and Stoneywell has remained within the family ever since.

The Gimson family

Ernest Gimson’s father, Josiah and his brother Benjamin, were also significant figures in Leicester during the 19th century when they set up the Gimson and Company factory in the city, making heavy machinery.

It was one of the largest employers in the city and prided itself on being a model employer in terms of wages and conditions of work. The firm cast the great beam engines which can still be seen at the Abbey Pumping Station and cast two bridges over the Grand Union Canal in Leicester.

Some more information on Stoneywell & Gimson

Below is an article written for us by a member, Douglas Smith, who used to live in a Gimson house in Leicester.

Ernest Gimson 1864-1919

He was born in Leicester, the son of Josiah Gimson of the successful engineering firm.

Early influences were Letherby, Ruskin and William Morris from lecturers at the Secular Society.

Gimson was articled to Isaac Barradale the local architect before he moved to London and was articled to J D Sedding in 1885.  In 1887 he travelled to France and Italy but returned to England and worked on modest projects.

White House. North Avenue. Leicester; 1897 Ernest Gimson designed for his brother Arthur is the best example of the two town houses. It has an ‘L shaped Plan with the end gable ploughing into the Avenue like the bow of a ship.

Stoneywell 1898 was built for Sidney A. Gimson Ernest Gimson. It is in my opinion the outstanding design of the cottages built in the Charnwood Forest.

The great chimney is like a buttress and develops from the rocky outcrop as it grows out of the forest rock. The plan twists to follow the contours of the site. This is the fascination of the building with changing levels and interesting movement of space. Originally the cottage has a thatched roof which enabled the designer to use the fluid lines evolved from the plan.

Gimson had too much respect for the past to to attempt to reproduce it. He believed each generation could and should make a contribution to a splendid tradition

A plan of the ground floor of Stoneywell. The plan relates to the photograph and sorry the words are upside down.

Why not write an article for the e-newsletter and the web site?  Contact Janet Groome on 0116 279 2280 with any questions.

Web site designed and maintained by Janet Groome, Handshake Computer Training