Events - Live and Online

The Victorian Society is an CPD provider recognised by the The Institute of Historic Building Conservation.

Victorian Society events are publicised to members below and in the 'Blue Sheet' with our mailings in February, June and October. Some require booking, for others you can just turn up on the day.

For events organised by our regional groups, please see the regional group pages:

Birmingham & West Midlands; Leicester; Liverpool; Manchester; West Yorkshire; South Yorkshire and Wales.

We're always looking for volunteers to put on events for us. Please contact us if you are interested in getting involved at [email protected]

Victorian Society AGM in Nottingham and Weekend of Activities

Date: Fri 30 September-Sun 2 October 2022

Please join us for our first in person annual general meeting (AGM) weekend since 2019. It will be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Nottinghamshire’s Victorian and Edwardian architecture and catch up with members old and new.

For further information and to book.

Next events:

Visit: Nunhead Cemetery

Date: Sat 13 August 2022


Nunhead Cemetery (James Bunning, 1840) is the second largest of the Magnificent Seven cemeteries in London. The tour will be led by a member of The Friends and will include access to the crypt of the Chapel (Thomas Little, 1844), which is not normally open to the public.

Ticket Price: £16

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Conference: A new aesthetic or ‘mere decoration’? Architectural Sculpture in Britain 1850-1914

Date: Sat 17 September 2022

Time: 10am

This hybrid conference will discuss architectural sculpture in Britain from 1850 to 1914 at the Art Workers Guild in London.

Venue: Art Workers Guild/ Online

Ticket Price: In person attendance: £55: Book Now Online (zoom) attendance: £30 Book Now

Talk: Sir George Gilbert Scott and the Rebuilding of St Mary Abbots Church, Kensington by Dr Chris Miele

Date: Wed 21 September 2022

Time: 6.30pm

This talk will set the commission of Sir Gilbert Scott’s St Mary Abbots (1868-72) in the context of Scott’s later career and examine how he synthesized different sources. Dr Chris Miele is an architectural historian, town planner and partner in a central London property consultancy.

Venue: St Mary Abbots Church, Kensington

Ticket Price: £10

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Victorian Short Story Reading Group: Edgar Allan Poe, ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’

Date: Tue 11 October 2022

Time: 7pm

This autumn, we will examine Victorian Gothic stories that reveal anxieties about dark liminal spaces, where the divide between life and death, mankind and beast, stands in doubt.  This month we will look at Edgar Allan Poe, ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’. We commence with a story that will give us the opportunity to explore several typical gothic elements.

Ticket Price: £5

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Victorian Short Story Reading Group: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper

Date: Tue 8 November 2022

Time: 7pm

Continuing our exploration of Victorian Gothic we will look at Charlotte Perkins Gilman, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’. This month we turn to madness and Victorian patriarchy in a story which opens with a traditional Gothic setting, but which subverts our expectations

Ticket Price: £5

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Victorian Short Story Reading Group: Elizabeth Gaskell, ‘The Old Nurse's Story’

Date: Tue 6 December 2022

Time: 7pm

Continuing our exploration of Victorian Gothic we will look at Elizabeth Gaskell, ‘The Old Nurse's Story’. For December it seems only proper to explore the tradition of a ghost story for Christmas.

Ticket Price: £5

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Online Talk: William Morris Textiles by Jenny Lister

Date: Wed 12 October 2022

Time: 7pm–8:30pm

William Morris was a one-man pattern-making phenomenon and a master of colour whose distinctive designs and use of deep blues, reds and yellows, revolutionised the appearance of late-Victorian textile design. In this online lecture Jenny Lister, V&A curator and specialist on historic textiles, discusses the history, style and production of Morris’s printed textiles.

Ticket Price: £6

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Online Talk: Glass in Nineteenth Century Public Spaces by Sally Haden

Date: Tue 18 October 2022

Time: 7- 8:30pm

Amongst the great technological advances of the nineteenth century, one is usually forgotten - the mastery of good quality glass. Clear, unblemished glass for windows, mirrors and lighting burst upon nineteenth century public spaces. Sally Haden will discuss.

Ticket Price: £6

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Walk: London’s West End Theatres

Date: Fri 21 October 2022

Time: 2.30- 4.30pm

Led by Richard Gray Meet at the Criterion Theatre on the south side of Piccadilly Circus The West End of London has probably the World’s finest collection of playhouses dating from the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Richard Gray has specialized on the study of theatre and cinema architecture. He is the author of Cinemas in Britain.

Ticket Price: £15

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Autumn Online Talks Series: Victorians at Home

The autumn talk series samples Victorian domestic architecture in all its great variety, ranging from artists’ houses in London to shooting lodges in Scotland and nineteenth-century castles.

One ticket for all of the online talks can be bought and will give you 7 talks for the price of 6. This offer gives access to live online events and the recordings of those talks.

Find out more and book here.

Autumn Online Talks Series: Farnborough Hill and the Empress Eugénie by Anthony Geraghty

Date: Tue 25 October, 2022

Time: 7 – 8:30pm

In 1880, following the death of her husband, Napoleon III, in exile in England, Empress Eugénie bought an estate at Farnborough, Hampshire, where she commissioned the architect Gabriel Hippolyte Destailleur to remodel and extend the existing house, which became the setting for her remarkable collection. Anthony Geraghty, Professor of History of Art at the University of York, is the author of The Empress Eugenie at Farnborough, to be published this summer.

Ticket Price: £6

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Autumn Online Talks Series: Highland Retreats by Mary Miers

Date: Wed 2 Nov 2022

Time: 7 – 8:30pm

Although mostly built as seasonal homes, many as shooting lodges, nineteenth-century country houses built in the Scottish Highlands encompass remarkable architectural variety, from picturesque cottages ornées and Scotch baronial castles inspired by Queen Victoria’s and Prince Albert’s Balmoral to Arts and Crafts mansions. Mary Miers – a former Victorian Society caseworker – is the author of the standard, much-acclaimed book on the subject, Highland Retreats: The Architecture and Interiors of Scotland’s Romantic North.

Ticket Price: £6

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Autumn Online Talks Series: The Victorian town house, by Andrew Saint

Date: Wed 9 Nov 2022

Time: 7 – 8:30pm

As England was one of the most urbanised nations in the world by the end of the nineteenth century, its town and cities are rich in Victorian domestic architecture, but it may be a result of its very familiarity that it has tended to be given less attention by architectural historians than public buildings or country houses. One of our leading architectural historians, and a former trustee of the Victorian Society, Andrew Saint was for many years General Editor of The Survey of London. His most recent book, based on lectures he gave to the Society, is London 1870–1914: A City at its Zenith, published by Lund Humphries in 2021.

Ticket Price: £6

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Autumn Online Talks Series: The English castle in the nineteenth century, by John Goodall

Date: Tue 15 Nov 2022

Time: 7 – 8:30pm

Some of the most spectacular country houses built or rebuilt in the nineteenth century were not houses at all – they were castles. From Alnwick to Cardiff and Arundel to Peckforton, great aristocratic families – and others – gave leading architects some of the most extraordinary commissions of the age. John Goodall, the Architectural Editor of Country Life, is the author of the acclaimed study The English Castle: 1066–1650 (2011). His latest book, The Castle: A History, published earlier this year, takes the story up to the present day in an account of the changing meanings of castles over the centuries.

Ticket Price: £6

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Autumn Online Talks Series: Sambourne House, London, by Hannah Lund

Date: Wed 23 Nov 2022

Time: 7 – 8:30pm

In the first of two talks in this series on artists’ houses in London, Hannah Lund, Curator of Linley House in Kensington, discusses the home of the illustrator Linley Sambourne (1844–1910), one of the best preserved late nineteenth century houses in London, with richly decorated Aesthetic interiors of the 1870s and 1880s. The house has a special significance for members of the Victorian Society, as it was here in 1958, when it was the home of Sambourne’s granddaughter Anne, Countess of Rosse, that the society was founded.

Ticket Price: £6

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Autumn Online Talks Series: Kingston Lacy, Dorset, by Michael Hall

Date: Wed 30 Nov

Time: 7 – 8:30pm

One of the oddities of Charles Barry’s career is that he never designed a country house from scratch, but remodelled or extended existing buildings. One of the best preserved is Kingston Lacy, near Wimborne in Dorset, reconstructed for William Bankes from 1834 to 1841. Barry had earlier remodelled Bankes’s Welsh seat, Soughton Hall, Flintshire. Now owned by the National Trust, Kingston Lacy is remarkable not just for its architecture and splendid art collection but for the fact that the interiors were largely fitted out when Bankes was living abroad, to escape prosecution for a homosexual offence. Michael Hall is writing a queer history of the National Trust, to be published in 2024.

Ticket Price: £6

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Autumn Online Talks Series: Leighton House, London, by Daniel Robins

Date: Wed 7 Dec

Time: 7 – 8:30pm

This autumn Leighton House, home of the Victorian painter Frederic Leighton (1830–96), reopens after a major redevelopment aimed at completing its restoration and creating new facilities and resources to sustain it through the 21st century. In the second of a pair of talks on Victorian artists’ houses, following Hannah Lund’s talk on Sambourne House, the curator of Leighton House, Daniel Robins, discusses the restoration of some of the finest Aesthetic Movement interiors in Britain, the setting for a rich artistic and social legacy.

Ticket Price: £6

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Missed a talk? Buy to watch any time:

Talks on Architects

Discover a range of talks on Victorian architects from Pugin to Webb to Bodley.

Spring Talk Series 2022 - The Greats of 19th Century Architecture

Autumn Talk Series on The Terraced House:

Our Autumn talk series focused on the terraced house, the much-loved housing that forms the bedrock of English and Welsh cities.(Buy six talks for the price of five here) Alternatively buy the individual talks below:

  • Origin And History of The Terraced House.

Alec Forshaw, historian & urban designer will open the series by tracing the origins & history of the terraced house in Bloomsbury. (Buy a ticket to watch the recording here).

  • Real Estate Development and The Small, Terraced House.

Gareth Carr, architect and lecturer at Wrexham Glyndwr University, will look at development through the Welsh Streets in Liverpool. (Buy a ticket to watch the video recording here).

  • Design and construction of the Victorian and Edwardian terraced house.

Architectural historian and Victorian Society trustee, Kit Wedd will explore the materials, design and construction of the terraced house. (Buy a ticket to watch the video recording here).

  • Origin, Development and Decline of Back-To-Back Housing.

Joanne Harrison, architect and heritage consultant, will trace the development of back-to-back house building in Leeds. (Buy a ticket to watch the video recording here).

  • Transport and the development of the Victorian and Edwardian suburbs.

Edmund Bird, heritage manager at Transport for London will discuss the development of London's transport infrastructure. (Buy a ticket to watch the video recording here).

  • The Terrace House Plan in the 20th And 21st Centuries.

Practicing architect and professor of architecture, Dave King, will cover the reinterpretation and sustainable reuse of the terrace house. (Buy ticket to watch the video recording here).

Standalone talk on Saltaire and Ackroydon

  • Decoding Decoration in Saltaire and Ackroydon, by Sheila Binns

The model villages of Saltaire and Akroydon in West Yorkshire are both full of architectural decoration, it carries messages that were of great importance to their respective patrons. (Buy a ticket to watch the video recording here)

A City at its Zenith Series

Package deal of Andrew Saint's series chronologically covering the development of the British capital from 1870-1914. (Complete series for £10 - click here to purchase).

Victorian Dynasties Series

Four talks for the price of three (Click here to purchase).