In March 2020, we were about to embark on the very interesting period of Gothic architecture, when we had to stop meeting due to Covid 19 restrictions. Due to the social nature of this group, we have not ‘met’ on Zoom, but if enough group members want to try it, we could give it a go. Otherwise, we will wait to hear when/if we can restart. Contact address below if you would like to know more

The Buildings Appreciation Group “does what it says on the tin” !   We meet to discuss architectural styles through the ages, so that we can better appreciate the built environment around us, wherever we may be.

We tend to concentrate on buildings in Great Britain since these provide us with actual examples. After a year or two of going “quickly” through the architectural styles in a fairly general way, we’ve now embarked on a slightly different strategy. Each person in the group volunteers to do some research on an aspect of the style currently under discussion, e.g. doors, windows, arches, etc. When we meet, we ‘report back’ individiually, by whatever means we choose (not obligatory – someone else can do this for you, if you wish).

We support our learning from the above, by visiting a local example of the period we’re studying. We have visited Butser Iron Age Farm, Boarhunt and Idsworth churches in the recent past. The members organise these, usually a fairly low-cost exercise. Occasionally, we have a guided tour of a place, where the same applies, plus contributing to the tour guide’s fee, of course.

We meet on the fourth Tuesday morning of each month, except August, from 10.30 to 12 noon, at the Nugee Room, in Sts. Peter & Paul Church at Wymering, for which there is a small charge to cover the cost of hiring the room and refreshments if required.

If you think you might enjoy this group, please get in touch with Christine via the website, or better still, join Portsdown U3A !

Group Leader: Christine London




Meeting Notes – February 2020


Our Group

2018 Visit to Salisbury

As Andrew Negus’ talk at the General Meeting had been so interesting we asked him to conduct a tour for us around Salisbury – which we did on 24th April. We got rather absorbed in the cathedral itself as Andrew pointed out items we’d otherwise have missed, so we didn’t get to tour the town!

In the cathedral is a wonderful large modern font, which we all thought was gorgeous, and Colin took a beautiful photo using its waters for an interesting effect. (Copies from me).

We were all in agreement that we would like to repeat the exercise later in the year, so listen out for an announcement later on as to when this will be.

Unfortunately, Shirley had a fall on the way back to the car park, and has sustained a broken collar bone. I am keeping in touch with her, and I am sure you will all wish her a speedy recovery.



2018 Visit to Idsworth Church

Eight people from the group visited this saxon ‘church in the field’ at Idsworth, on 24th July. Thanks to Chris for organising it.



We have continued to work our way through Norman cathedrals (or remains of, in some cases!). Several people chose ones they knew well, or even revisited. We’ve been intrigued to find some of the cathedrals seem to have very similar designs, despite the distances.

We ended the term on a high note (see photo), with a pre-arranged tour of the architecture of Chichester Cathedral, conducted by our knowledgeable guide,Alan. Near the Lady Chapel, he pointed out four different styles of architecture in a relatively small space, proof of the adaptability of the masons. We ended with a short, but fascinating talk by the Clerk of Works, who spared us some time from his very busy schedule up on the roof, to tell us about the work being done up there (we could hear it!).

We have a varied programme for next term, when we will be embarking on the influential Gothic styles. In October, we hope to visit Winchester Cathedral and, taking advantage of the extra Tuesday, we will have a talk by a group member, David, on Portsmouth Cathedral, which we will follow up in December with a tour conducted by him, followed by tea and an invitation to attend Evensong. Our “Christmas lunch” will be at South Downs college in January 2020! Our February meeting will be a talk by a local architect, Martin Critchley, about his work , with specific reference to buildings in Havant. In March, David hopes to arrange for us to visit churches in the Meonstoke and Corhampton area.

As we meet in the Nugee Room at the church of Sts. Peter & Paul in Wymering, we could take one or two new members, if you would like to join us.

Visit to Chichester Cathedral