May 2021

Portmerion: A Welsh Italianate Fantasy

Welcome to The Arts Society Harlow
Thursday, May 13, 2021 - 14:00
St John's Arts & Recreation Centre
St. John's Walk Old Harlow CM17 0AJ

Portmeirion is an extraordinary surprise; a colourful and delightful fantasy village on the coast of north Wales.   Created from the 1920s by the remarkable architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, Portmeirion was his personal defiance against the advance of modernism and what he saw as the despoilment of Britain. By the 1950s it had become the playground of artists, intellectuals, aristocrats and the merely rich. Regular visitors included H G Wells, Bertand Russell and Noel Coward (who wrote Blithe Spirit at Portmeirion).

Sir Clough’s daughter Susan created Portmeirion Pottery, which during the 1960s and 70s, was synonymous with cutting-edge ceramic style. This lecture looks at the place, its architecture and associations.


Mr Matthew Williams

Holds degrees from the Universities of Nottingham and Manchester and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. A recognised expert on the work of the Victorian designer William Burges, Matthew was Curator of Cardiff Castle for nearly 30 years. His most recent  publication is a major book Cardiff Castle and the Marquesses of Bute, published in 2019. A long-standing member of The Arts Society, Matthew has been a programme secretary and a chairman before becoming an accredited lecturer in 2001.