Monday 7 October 2019 09:00am – 17:30pm: Friends Visit to Westonbirt

Friends can join us for a private guided walk at Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, one of the UK’s oldest and largest. After enjoying the marvellous autumn colours we will take lunch at the Kings Arms at Didmarton. In the afternoon we return to Westonbirt House — described by Country Life as “the finest example of Victorian architecture, grounds and gardens in the Cotswolds” — for a private tour and cream tea.

Tickets are £70 each to include transport, lunch, private tours at the Arboretum and School and the cream tea. Please complete and return the booking form in the Autumn 2019 Newsletter. 


Sunday 27 October 2019 11:00am – 4:00pm: Autumn Leaves – the Holburne Book Sale

Come and browse (and buy!) from a wonderful selection of secondhand books, covering a wide array of topics from art and architecture to history, gardening, biography, non-fiction, travelling, literature and much more.

Donations of good quality books are warmly welcomed and are much needed to help raise funds. Please contact Sidney Blackmore or David Wiltshire for details, on 01985 213195 or email


Wednesday 30 October 2019 7:00 to 8:00pm: The 2019 Robertson Lecture by Matthew Williams

Matthew Williams (pictured above), who gave us a fascinating tour of the Castle’s magnificent apartments has kindly agreed to give this year’s Robertson Lecture at the Museum. Matthew trained as an historian in Art and Architecture at the University of Nottingham, and went on to read Art Gallery and Museum Studies at the University of Manchester, gaining a post-graduate degree. He was appointed Keeper of the Collections at Cardiff Castle in 1990, and became Head Curator there in 1998. He has since been recognised as a world expert on the work of the gothic revival architect William Burges and lectures widely on the subject of Victorian design.

Matthew’s subject for the Robertson Lecture will beDowntown Abbey revealed: The Story of Highclere Castle. This promises to be a highly entertaining and informative talk. The enormous success of the television series has made Highclere Castle one of the most recognisable buildings in the country. This lecture will reveal that truth is stranger than fiction, telling the story of the castle and the family who own it, the Earls of Carnarvon. Highclere is a masterpiece of Victorian architecture, and has fascinating links with ancient Egypt, the  Houses of Parliament – even the world of Royal horse racing.

Tickets for the lecture are £15 each, and will be available from the Museum, at the reception desk in person,
or online: