Dillington Discoveries – Winter Week


Art - Practical

Art History


Dillington Discoveries


Military History

Music Appreciation

Needle Felting




Day course

Residential course

Three Day Course

Two Day Course

Dr Jan Cox, Andrew Powell-Thomas, Gwyn Parry-Jones, Philip Wilkinson, David Chandler, Carla Taylor, Nick Matthews, Jo Sadler, Zara Shepherd

12 February 2023 to 17 February 2023

From £352 Non-residential fee, £858 Single bedroom or shared occupancy, £979 Double bedroom single occupancy

Book now


Dillington Discoveries brings in a new Winter week of activities, expanding on the success of 2021/2022 with some exciting new courses and content for the start of 2023.

Winter Discoveries can be enjoyed on a residential or non-residential basis.  In addition to the rich and varied day courses on offer there is an after-dinner event each evening.  Residents attend from dinner on Sunday, with courses running from Monday and finishing at lunch on Friday. Click on the subject titles below for more details on each course.

Resident fees include course of your choice, five nights en-suite accommodation, full board, refreshments and evening activities.

A supplement applies to some courses – see individual course descriptions for details.

Non-resident fees and day attendees may book a place of the courses – see individual course descriptions for the relevant fee.  Accommodation is only available for residents booking the complete week.   Non-residents are welcome to book dinner and the evening presentations, talks or activities at £31 per person per evening.

Artists’ Colonies in Britain and Europe with Dr Jan Cox

A History of Somerset & Somerset at War with Andrew Powell-Thomas

Variations on a Theme with Gwyn Parry Jones

Varieties of English Architecture with Philip Wilkinson

Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue? with David Chandler

Kingfisher Needle Felting Two Day Workshop with Carla Taylor

Barn Owl Needle Felting Two Day Workshop with Carla Taylor

Photography: A Guide to “Close Up” Photography with Nick Matthews

Photography: Picture Perfect Portraits and How to Take Them with Nick Matthews

Photography: Still Life with Nick Matthews

Photography: Basic Photo Editing and Photo Books with Nick Matthews

Willow Deer Sculpture Workshop with Jo Sadler

Willow Owl Sculpture Workshop with Jo Sadler

Lino Printing Workshop with Zara Shepherd

Stencil Screen Printing Workshop with Zara Shepherd

Tutor information

Dr Jan. D. Cox was awarded a BA at Oxford Brookes University, where his work on Christopher Wood won the Jeanne Sheehy Memorial Prize, and an MA at the University of Bristol.  He was formerly chief researcher for a project that placed online Wyndham Lewis’s art criticism in The Listener, and has since been awarded a PhD scholarship by the University of Leeds.  He has lectured extensively on European and British art at the University of Bristol and the Royal West of England Academy.  He has also addressed conferences at Universities in Oxford and Montreal, and at the Danish National Gallery, Tate Britain, Tate St. Ives and the Courtauld Institute. He is on the tutor panel for both Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

Andrew Powell-Thomas is a Somerset based author who writes children’s fiction, military history and local heritage books. He is the editor of Over the Top, the children’s magazine associated with the Great War Group; has done Television work for the Yesterday Channel and appeared a number of times on radio. Further details about Andrew and his books can be found on his website www.andrewpowell-thomas.co.uk or on his social media channels.

Gwyn Parry-Jones is a widely experienced musician, as performer, conductor and academic.  He has held posts at the universities of Oxford, Gothenburg and Reading, where he was for many years Director of Music in the Faculty of Education, and remains a visiting lecturer at Reading and Oxford.  As a performer Gwyn has played with the Hallé and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestras among others, under the batons of some of the world’s greatest conductors, including Barbirolli, Giulini and Rattle.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and an Honorary Fellow of the University of Reading.  Gwyn is also well known as an adjudicator and mentor for Music for Youth, and is a composer of numerous published works.

Philip Wilkinson is the author of many books on architecture and history. He wrote a series of books to accompany the BBC2 series Restoration and Restoration Village and is the author of The English Buildings Book (publisher English Heritage), Fifty Architecture Ideas You Really Need To Know (Quercus), Phantom Architecture (Simon & Schuster) and Irreplaceable (Historic England). He explores buildings ceaselessly, recording discoveries on his blog (englishbuildings.blogspot.co.uk) and gives talks on architectural subjects.

David Chandler’s weekly art classes have been running for fifteen years and are attended by more than eighty students. He has lectured and demonstrated to art societies and groups throughout the UK and has been leading painting courses in France, Italy and Switzerland since 1999. He has painted on Channel 4, TSW and HTV and is the author and presenter of two DVD tutorials for water-colourists. In 2011, he co-founded Frome Community Education, a Community Interest Company that delivers over forty different leisure courses and workshops to adult learners in the Frome area, attracting nearly seven hundred enrolments during its first year. In 2012, he was a finalist in the Holburne Portrait Prize for artists in the Southwest. David is also the writer and presenter of SEEING THINGS, a monthly community radio programme about the visual arts for Frome FM. He co-wrote the Sony album PROMISED LAND in 1992 and previously wrote documentary for Channel 4 and biographical drama and comedy for BBC Radio. VIOLET PECK, his first venture into juvenile fiction, is available from the Kindle Store.

Carla Taylor: The Mousehole Woolery is situated in the heart of the Dorset Countryside and is the home and studio of fibre artist Carla Taylor. The Mousehole Woolery creates contemporary sustainable wool sculptures inspired by the animals and landscape of the British countryside and coastline using local Dorset and British wool using the technique of needle felting, transforming loose fleece in to sculptural work of art!
Carla exhibits her sculptures at the Dorset Arts Festival at Sculpture by the Lakes in Dorset and at various galleries across the South West. She has also been featured on the Channel 4 programme Craft it Yourself and in Craft & Design Magazine, Wildlife Watch and the International Felting Association magazine.

Nick Matthews BA (Hons) Commercial Photography, MA (Photography), ARPS (Associate of the Royal Photographic Society) AFHAP (Association for Historical & Fine Art Photography).
Nick originally trained in film photography (in the mid Seventies) and more recently studied digital photography, full time for five years, at Exeter and Plymouth colleges. During his Master’s degree he undertook teaching degree level student’s photography.
Nick is a freelance photographer with a diverse client base across the UK. With an ethos, of ‘A simple solution for a great image’ underpins his practical approach to teaching and having fun with photography. www.nickmatthewsphotography.co.uk

Jo Sadler has been weaving with willow for four years now and makes all sorts of sculptures from Chickens to Deer, Arches for Weddings, bespoke commissions and runs courses to make sculptures. She is a supplier to the National Trust and has recently made Barrington Court a gaggle of geese for their Easter trail as well as creating winter displays for last two years in the grounds. Jo has several deer displayed at Abbotsbury Sub-Tropical Gardens which appeared at Dillington House at Christmas pulling the sleigh!  Currently using Studi0ne at The Craft Centre, Broadwindsor, where Jo also runs future courses and sells sculptures. Her passion for weaving is never ending and really enjoys a course which just opens the door to a complete new creative world, also learning to weld so she can expand into metal sculpture and hopes to use more materials too!

Zara Emily is the founder of a craft workshop business in Weston-super-Mare. Teaching is her passion, teaching people the joy of screen printing from her studio in Worle and on location.
Zara graduated from Winchester School of Art, and then worked as a technical instructor in printed textiles at Loughborough university for 10 years. She made the decision to follow her dream and create a print studio in her hometown and is also dedicated to the arts in Weston. As a Director of Weston Artspace she is an integral part of the creative community and loves supporting local artists to thrive.

Your questions answered

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