Beckford Society

This profile is used by members of the Beckford Society Steering Committee for official announcements.

Old Fonthill Abbey Open Days 2019

The grounds of Old Fonthill Abbey will be open to the public this year on Sunday 5 and Sunday 19 May.

Visitors will be able to follow a series of walks and tracks around Bitham Lake and through the American Garden, and circuits to Stops Beacon and further points. The first date should be best for bluebells, and the second date for the rhododendrons.

Tea and coffee, and homemade cakes are available all day, along with homemade soup and prize-winning bangers on the barbecue. Dogs on leads are very welcome.

Donations for entrance and, as in previous years, will be shared between Parkinsons UK and local charities.

Entrance from 10.00am is by Stone Gate (SP3 6SP) on the Hindon to Newtown Lane.

NB. In the event of dangerously high winds, visiting will be cancelled. The NT Stourhead website will be followed.

New book on John Rutter

John Rutter (1796 – 1851) is possibly best known as the author and publisher of Delineations of Fonthill and its Abbey which gives a detailed account of the Abbey and its estate following Beckford’s decision to sell.

Rutter was a man of many talents and achievements which are revealed in John Stuttard’s The Turbulent Quaker of Shaftersbury, which has just been published by Hobnob Press on behalf of the Shaftesbury & District Historical Society.

More details are available in this PDF flier.

Fonthill Recovered

Fonthill Recovered is a new collection about Beckford’s Wiltshire estate edited by Caroline Dakers and published on 18th May by UCL Press in hardcover, paperback or a free online version. A flyer is available, and the whole book is available for open access download from UCL Press here.

New Edition of Biographical Memoirs

Hobnob Press has recently brought out a new edition of Beckford’s Biographical Memoirs of Extraordinary Painters with an introduction, annotations, illustrations and bibliography by Robert J. Gemmett. Click here to see a leaflet with more details of the new edition.

Old Fonthill Abbey Open Grounds 2018


The grounds of Old Fonthill Abbey will be open to the public on Sundays 6th and 20th May.
Visitors will be able to follow marked paths around the woodland and Bitham Lake.

The openings are in aid of Parkinsons UK and local charities.

Further information is available in this poster.