Prince Charles visits restored Watts Gallery in Surrey

image captionThe Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall tasted the wine produced at Denbies on the first stop in Surrey

The work of a Victorian artist widely considered by his contemporaries to be the greatest painter of his age has been celebrated by the Prince of Wales.

The prince, with the Duchess of Cornwall, visited a restored gallery in Surrey which houses a collection of work by George Frederic Watts.

Watts Gallery in Compton was created by the artist for his works, which he left to the nation.

The gallery is due to reopen to the public on 18 June.

It came to public attention when it narrowly missed winning the final of the BBC's Restoration Village in 2006.

A total of £11m was later raised to restore and protect the building, including £4.9m from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The royal couple began their visit to the county by tasting wines produced at the award winning Denbies vineyard near Dorking.

Denbies Chalk Ridge Rose 2010 was the only still rose to win a gold medal at The International Wine Challenge 2011 last week.

The royal couple planted a sapling to mark Thursday's visit.

They were following in the footsteps of the Queen who toured the vineyard on the North Downs seven years ago.

The duchess later visited meals on wheels volunteers and clients at Molesey Centre for the Community while the prince toured Painshill Park in Cobham, one of Europe's most important 18th Century landscaped gardens.

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