Historic Houses' members visit free. Interested in joining? Find out more.


In 1889, seeking a winter retreat from their Holland Park house and studio and wishing to escape the smogs of London that caused George's bad health, G F and Mary Watts stayed with friends in Compton.

They quickly decided that this picturesque village nestled in the Surrey hills would make the ideal location for their own autumn/winter residence.

The Wattses' home and studios, Limnerslease, was designed by the great Arts & Crafts architect Sir Ernest George and was completed in 1891. The 'little house', as they called Limnerslease, grew into a source of inspiration and a place of great productivity and tranquility for them both.

Limnerslease was very much an artists' home. Its name comes from 'Limner' — the Old English word for artist — and 'lease' — to glean hope for the future. Mary was not the only one who found new inspiration in Compton; George set up a new studio designed with his large canvases in mind and desire for good light, a place where he was able to work on the many pieces that he had been meditating on throughout his career.



Open Tuesday - Sunday throughout the year.

Winter hours 10am - 4pm. Summer hours 10am - 5pm.

Find Us
Find us

Located in Compton, Surrey, near Guildford. Just 40 mins from London Waterloo, and a short bus/taxi ride from Guildford station.

Trains run every 15 minutes from London Waterloo to Guildford station. There is a 46 bus from Guildford that runs every hour and drops passengers right outside the Visitor Centre of Watts Gallery - Artists' Village.

  • Offers bike storage

Paul Edwards Taxis 01483 422138


Historic Houses members visit from free.

Admission: £5.

More admission details

Group Visits
Group Visits

Whether your group wants an overview of the collection, has a special area of interest or wishes to explore a particular exhibition, we can provide a wide range of tours and talks to meet your requirements.

Groups of 8 or more people save on admission prices and also get a discount in our shop. A variety of catering options are also available from our award-winning Tea Shop.

Please see our website for more information.


Watts Gallery is the perfect venue to host your civil ceremony or wedding reception. Whether you are planning an intimate ceremony or a large event, our experienced team will work with you to create the perfect day.

Take your vows in the stunning Grade II* listed gallery, followed by a drinks reception surrounded by magnificent works of art. Dine in the historic galleries or in a marquee on the lawn, with this beautiful Victorian building as your backdrop.

Enjoy exclusive use of the gallery for the day. Watts Gallery can close to the public only a few times each year. Reduced rates available on Mondays. See our Weddings Brochure for details.


  • Accessible parking

I have to say a massive thank you to you and Watts Gallery for being so wonderful and accommodating to our every need... The gallery looked amazing. It went so smoothly and perfectly on the day that we had nothing to worry about. Everyone commented on how beautiful the gallery was and this will be very memorable for us and our guests... Thank you for everything.

Wedding September 2017

Corporate Hire

Corporate events

The Artists' Village includes the historic Watts Gallery, Watts Studios, the Grade I listed Watts Chapel, the Former Compton Pottery and Limnerslease, the Wattses' Arts & Crafts country home. We can host a variety of events — both small and large-scale — including dinner and drink receptions, private parties or celebrations, corporate events and team away days. 

Watts Gallery Trust is a registered charity. By booking an event with us, you support our on-going education and exhibition programmes as well as the conservation and care of our collection and historic estate.



  • Dinner
  • Plentiful parking
  • Lunch
  • Refreshments

School Visits

Watts Gallery - Artists' Village provides an inspirational backdrop for students to explore a range of subjects linked to the national curriculum and post-14 exam courses.

Explore woodlands and heritage buildings, discover hundreds of Victorian paintings, sculptures, and contemporary art and visit the
Grade I listed Arts & Crafts Chapel. Take a free self-guided tour or inspire students with brilliant activities led by our creative learning team.