The Arts Society Limpsfield was founded in 1975. We celebrate our 40th anniversary in May 2015. We are affiliated to NADFAS, the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies, and one of about 330 similar local Societies in the United Kingdom.  We are an active Society with nearly 500 members which makes us one of the largest in the country.

Our purpose is the appreciation, promotion and preservation of decorative and fine arts.  We interpret that very broadly and offer our members a balanced programme of lectures, visits, extras and study days, as well as a cultural tour each year.

The lectures are the core of our programme. We develop a different, balanced programme of topics each year and research prospective lecturers carefully, commissioning only the most experienced and qualified lecturers with an interesting topic and a good reputation for speaking and presenting. We cover a wide range each year and we are always open to suggestions.  Our lectures are usually held at St Peter’s Hall, Limpsfield at 2:30 pm and 8pm on the last Wednesday of the month. Tea and coffee are served for 30 minutes from 4.00pm and 7:15pm.

visit is a half or full-day trip, planned well in advance and published in the programme for the following year. It normally includes coach transport (except to Central London).

An extra is a visit that we have arranged at shorter notice to take advantage of an opportunity that may not have been available when the visit programme was originally developed. The subjects can sometimes be more experimental. Arrangements may be different at each event, but are advertised.

study day is a half or full-day workshop where we study a topic to a depth not possible in a lecture or talk.

Typically our programme comprises 10 lectures (monthly except for July and August), 12 visits, a Study Day and a cultural tour each year.

We use a grasshopper as our emblem.

The grasshopper is featured on the coat of arms of Sir John Gresham who owned Titsey Place in Limpsfield from 1534.  It appears on a number of institutions associated with the Gresham family including Gresham School, Gresham College and the golden weather vane at The Royal Exchange.

Sir Thomas Gresham, the nephew of Sir John Gresham, was a Tudor financier who founded the Royal Exchange.  His business office was 68 Lombard Street where even today a metre long golden grasshopper hangs. That site subsequently became Martin’s Bank and they used the grasshopper as their sign until the bank was taken over by Barclays in 1969.  Sir Thomas is buried in St Helen’s Church, Bishopsgate.

The Grasshopper has also been adopted by other bodies in the Limpsfield area including the local golf club and an inn.

Legend has it that the founder of the family Roger de Gresham was found in long grass in Norfolk by a woman who heard the noise of a grasshopper.  The more likely explanation though is that it is a heraldic representation of the Gresham name as gres is the middle english form of grass.