Ladies Art College, Wimbledon
The earliest known mention of the College of Art for Ladies, South Wimbledon, which may be presumed to be the same as this College, is in 1881, when The Builder (p683) reported a legal dispute between a Miss Bennet (also found elsewhere as Bennett) who ran the College and her landlord. Her name is linked again with the College the following year in Magazine of Art 5 (p x) (cited in E I Hams and S R Scott: A Gallery of her Own, revised edition 2013, p301), where it is stated that she was the founder. At that time, she is said to have provided ‘a modestly priced home with excellent instructors and studios’ but no work associated with the College is known before 1889, the date of some glass at Great Bookham, Surrey (www.stainedglassrecords.org). Its only other known work (assuming that there is only a single college) is the glass at Jevington of 1890-95, though Robert Eberhard attributes other glass of the early 1890s at Great Bookham to the College on stylistic grounds. Alison Smith in her The Victorian Nude: Sexuality, Morality and Art, Manchester 1996 (p228) has found a reference to the college in 1894, in connection with the movement against the depiction of the female nude which grew after 1885 and reached a peak at this time. Miss Bennet is mentioned with approval by some supporters of the movement in this context and as the College was said to have developed a particular expertise in the field of glass-painting, it is likely that more windows await discovery, particularly as a reference to its continued existence is found as late as 1906, when it is described in The Official Yearbook of the Church of England for that year as the ‘only residential Art School for Ladies who are churchwomen’. There is no later record of Miss Bennet, who defies fuller identification, or the College and it was clearly unconnected with the more recent Wimbledon School of Art.
E B Lamb
Edward Buckton Lamb (1805-69) was a pupil of Lewis Nockalls Cottingham (1787-1847) and became one of the most individual earlier Victorian church architects, working mostly for Low Church clients. His obituary in The Builder remarks that ‘he constantly endeavoured, even at the expense sometimes of beauty, to exhibit originality’ and he sought consciously to merge the picturesqueness of the past into the functionalism of the future. The results often seemed strange to his contemporaries and he was in particular reviled by the Ecclesiologists, not least because of the planning of his churches, which continued to be centred primarily around the pulpit rather than the altar. He designed over thirty churches in all as well as country houses and wrote several books. Excessive expenditure on a new residence led him to die bankrupt. Apart from extensions to Wadhurst castle in 1842, he completed no building in Sussex.
Lit: A Edwards: The Churches of E B Lamb: an Exercise in Centralised Planning, ET 42 (June 2010) pp29-48; Obit: The Builder 27 p720; DNB
Restored: Slinfold (1847 – not carried out)
This mason of Brighton signs one monument in this form of the name at Telscombe to someone who died in 1782. However, there are reasons for believing that the monument dates from 1816 or slightly later. Lambert is otherwise unknown, though if the later date for the monument at Telscombe is accepted, it is quite possible that he is connected with the equally obscure W Lambert, also of Brighton (see immediately below).
J Lambert junior
James Lambert junior (c1761-99) was called ‘junior’ to distinguish him from his uncle of the same name (1725-88) who was a bookseller, sign-painter and self-taught artist of Cliffe Corner, Lewes; he is best known as one of the two artists employed by Sir William Burrell to record the antiquities of Sussex. The uncle trained his nephew though his talents were less and the only known work by him, the Royal Arms at St Mary, Eastbourne, suggests he did not venture beyond the realm of the sign-painter. He inherited the pleasure garden on the Downs above Lewes known as Baldy’s Garden (see Brent: Georgian Lewes p120).
Painted: Eastbourne, – St Mary, Royal Arms
W Lambert and Son
This firm of Brighton masons makes its only appearance in the records in 1829, when it produced a monument at Patcham. Llewellyn (p249) suggests a link with A Lambert (see immediately above), who signs one at Telscombe but is otherwise equally unknown. Two stonemasons called William Lambert are to be found in PD 1839, with addresses at 62 Western Road and 28 Portland Street (also 38 Waterloo Street) respectively; the former appears at the same address in 1851 only (born 1791/92). Curiously and despite the date of their memorial at Patcham, neither appears in PD 1832, but it is likely that one of them was responsible for it. It is also conceivable that the two were the father and son who had meanwhile separated their businesses or even that there was only one mason of the name and that he was entered twice, though in that case three addresses might seem rather extreme.
Memorial: Brighton and Hove, – All Saints Patcham
Felix James Lander (1898-1960) was a pupil of Raymond Unwin (1863-1940) in Letchworth and, after service in World War I, worked in the office of Louis de Soissons (1890-1962), who like Unwin was deeply interested in town planning projects, in his case primarily with the development of Welwyn Garden City. Lander was also in the office of Henry Percy Adams (1865-1930) and Charles Henry Holden (1875-1960), one of the most prolific practices in Britain, designing many large public buildings. In 1928 he went into partnership with N F C Cachemaille-Day, who had also worked with de Soissons, and both joined Hubert Arthur Welch in 1930. Cachemaille-Day left in 1936, but the other two remained together until Welch died in 1953. They designed some churches, but more secular buildings, including factories and offices. Lander lived at St Albans, where he took an active part in the services in the Abbey, and in his final years worked extensively on churches in that diocese. After Welch’s death, he continued on his own before taking as his last partner his son, Sean Felix Folke Lander (born 1930), who in turn continued on his own after his father died.
Lit: BAL Biog file
Extended: Middleton (1932-33 – with Cachemaille-Day – not built)
William Langridge was a carpenter and joiner, of whom little is known apart from his dates (c1715-1801). According to different authorities he was either a Lewes man or from London.
M J Lansdell
Mark John Lansdell (1855-1935) was born in Hastings, where he was a pupil of A W Jeffery and W Skiller from 1872-75. He then became assistant to John Pollard Seddon (1827-1906) and Henry Saxon Snell (1831-1904). In 1881 Lansdell was elected ARIBA, won an honourable mention for his entry for the Soane Medallion (Proc RIBA) and went into practice in London and Hastings. He appears intermittently in London directories until 1907, sometimes on his own and sometimes with one E J Harrison who cannot be identified more fully, but his main addresses in 1891 and 1901 were in the Hastings area, where he finally settled. He submitted his application papers for FRIBA from his Hastings address, which further suggests he saw himself chiefly as a Hastings architect. In 1885 he was working with Arthur Wells (1847-1927), a leading architect there (B 48 p641), but they were probably not partners. He designed houses, shops, offices and schools in the town and exhibited a design for a new hospital at the RA in 1884.
Fittings: Hastings, – St Peter, Bohemia Road (1897); Udimore (nd)
M G Lassen
Michael G Lassen (also found as Lasson) (1948/49-2010) was British by birth, but trained initially as a glass-maker in Hadamar, Hessen,Germany, where there is a specialist training school for glaziers. From there he joined J Bell and Son of Bristol, where he became both a glass painter and designer. In 1978 he established his own studio in the city and remained in the area for the rest of his life. His death came about after a fall from scaffolding at Durham cathedral, where he was assisting T Denny with the installation of a window to the latter’s design (Northern Echo 10 September 2010).
Obit: Vidimus 44
Glass: Worthing, – St Peter, High Salvington (1994-95); – St Symphorian, Durrington (2009)
Charles James Latham (1883-1963) was the son of a teacher and gave his occupation in 1901 as architect’s pupil in Brighton, his place of birth, though it is not known in which practice. In 1911 and 1913 he had an office at 34 Duke Street, Brighton (KD), but when in 1913 he designed the new church at Shoreham Beach he gave a second address at Dolphin Chambers, Shoreham. He is not recorded professionally after this date.
Designed: Shoreham Beach (1913)
Jasper Latham (c1636-93) was a leading mason and sculptor in the City of London after the Great Fire of 1666. Chief among his employers in the former capacity was Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723), both at St Paul’s and Hampton Court. He also carved several statues, as well as four monuments that are certainly by him.
Memorials: Eastbourne, – St Mary, Willingdon (attr); Ringmer (attr); Worth (attr)
Lavers and Barraud Lavers, Barraud and Westlake Lavers and Westlake Lavers
Nathaniel Wood Lavers (1828-1911) established himself as a manufacturer of stained glass in Southampton Street, London in 1855. He was mainly interested in the technical aspects and used other designers such as Alfred Bell of Clayton and Bell to fulfil commissions. Lavers had already worked for the latter company and in 1858 he went into partnership with Francis Philip Barraud (1824-1900), who had produced designs for J Powell and Sons. However, whilst an accomplished watercolourist, he was an uneven designer, though Waters (Angels and Icons p138) praises some of his work. As a member of the Ecclesiological Society Barraud used his contacts well but after the partnership with Lavers had been established, they employed other artists to improve both the quantity and quality of their work. Chief among these was N J H Westlake, apparently recommended by W Burges. The enterprise prospered in new premises in Endell Street, Covent Garden where it also undertook work for Clayton and Bell and Heaton and Butler, with both of whom relations were close in the early years, though these loosened with increasing success. Lavers and Barraud had opened a branch in Manchester by 1864 and in 1868 Westlake became a partner and chief designer. The firm was thereafter often known as Lavers, Barraud and Westlake and the last provided much of the artistic leadership. Among the architects who were closely linked were J F Bentley who provided some designs and J P St Aubyn. Westlake took over completely in 1909; in that year KD/L shows him both as a member of the firm and as an independent glass maker in Maida Vale where he lived. It closed after he died in 1921, though from 1917 his workshop was only at the Maida Vale home-address.
Glass: Angmering (attr); Ashurst; Binsted; Birdham; Bodiam; Brightling; Brighton and Hove, – St Mark; – St Paul (Lavers only, as manufacturer of design by AB); Burgess Hill, – St John; Coolhurst; Cross-in-Hand; Denton; Duncton; Etchingham (with Clayton); Ferring; Findon; Fittleworth; Hastings, – All Saints; – St Peter; Horsham, – St Mary; Itchingfield; Mountfield; Offham; Old Shoreham; Oving; Pett; Petworth (Westlake); Preston, – St Peter; Pulborough; Rogate; Southwater; Ticehurst; Waldron; Washington; West Lavington; Worthing, – St Andrew, West Tarring
(As Lavers and Westlake); Egdean; Eridge Green; Ferring; Yapton
Law and Allen
This firm of architects had an address between 1902 to 1911 at Dacre House, 5 Arundel Street, London. The identity of Law is doubtful but could be Edmund Law of Northampton (1840-1904). However, the other partner was certainly G P Allen (who in 1907 is temporarily shown at this address on his own, which might indeed suggest Law was no longer involved by that date. The firm was probably mainly active around Bedford, as that is where most of Allen’s work is to be found, though none is in conjunction with Law..
M Lawrence Lawrence and Co
Meg Lawrence (b1953) specialises in stained glass and other aspects of church art. For many years she lived and worked in Canterbury, but since 1995 her studio has been in Radnorshire, where she is also a painter in egg tempera. More recently she has signed her work Lawrence and Co. Much of this shows the influence of C19 glass of more than one period, though she no longer undertakes the conservation work for which she had been particularly well known.
Glass: Bexhill, – St Peter; Brighton and Hove, – St Paul (restored Pugin’s glass); Burwash; Eastbourne, – St Mary; Felpham; Hartfield (Lawrence and Co); Mayfield (Lawrence and Co); Merston; Uckfield (Lawrence and Co); Up Waltham
John Lawson, who produced the statue on the tower of St John West Worthing, may be the same as Fenwick Justin John Lawson, though he is customarily referred to by his first name. He was born in 1932 and following study at Sunderland College of Art attended the Royal College of Art. Thereafter he returned to his native north east, where he has been both a practising sculptor and a teacher in various institutions. Most of his work has been of a religious character and is to be found in churches and cathedrals in the north, though works from his earlier career are also to be found in churches in London and the south. An alternative possibility for the statue at West Worthing is John Nicholas Lawson (see the entry on W Lawson etc immediately following) who worked for Faith Craft, though he was never primarily a sculptor.
Sculpture: Worthing, – St John
William Lawson (1893-1946) was born in Whitby, the son of the master of the workhouse, and first studied locally at Scarborough and York. In 1911 he moved to London and started work for Faith Press, the precursor of Faith Craft. There he also continued his studies at Battersea School of Art. He returned to Faith Press after war service and was closely involved when in 1921 the Society of the Faith, the parent of the press, decided to expand its existing, modest studio for the design and manufacture of church fittings and stained glass. Lawson was appointed the first managing director and chief designer, later moving with the manufacturing side to St Albans. Lawson’s preferred own style hearkened back to the Middle Ages, though work by him in the Italian style that was frequently favoured in Anglo-Catholic parishes is also known. His son John Nicholas (1932-2009) continued to work for Faith Craft until it closed around 1970. He lived at Hemel Hempstead, not far from St Albans where Faith Craft was still mainly based. After the closure, from 1971 to 1997 he was chief designer for the glass makers Goddard and Gibbs though he also designed fittings.
Lit: J Lawson: Faith Craft Works and Goddard & Gibbs Studio Ltd, JSG 23 (1999) pp55-61
Glass: Brighton and Hove, – St Bartholomew
W J Leach
William John Leach (1900-2003) trained as a stained glass artist and maker in Bedfordshire, but for much of his life worked in leprosy colonies in East Africa. He returned to England, already aged 63, in 1963 and devoted the remainder of his long life to fund-raising for leprosy charities by selling his stained glass and paintings.
Joseph (Jo) William Ledger (1926-2010) was the son of an architect and civil engineer, who studied at the Royal College of Art and in Paris. Still in his 20s, he came into contact with H S Goodhart-Rendel, for whom he designed murals and stained glass. However, his interests concentrated increasingly on ceramics and in 1954 he was appointed art director of Royal Doulton pottery, a post he held for nearly 40 years.
Obit: The Times 14 Aug 2010
Glass: Hastings, – St John, Maze Hill.
J S Lee
ICBS records provide the name John S for the ‘Mr Lee’ who worked on Seaford church in 1882. It is likely he is the same J S Lee, who wrote about the church in SAC 33 (1883), where he is described as ‘The Late’. However, this person is not fully identified and there are three possibilities. First is John Swanwick Lee (1828-82) of Southgate and Craven Street, London. Born at Macclesfield, Cheshire and primarily a surveyor, he is known to have worked on the sea defences at Seaford (BN 41 p658) and died at the right time. The second is John Stirling Lee (1852-86), the son of the last and similarly a surveyor whose address was also in Craven Street, and in addition brother of Thomas Stirling Lee (1857-1916), a well known sculptor. A person of the name appears in SAS membership lists of the period and assuming the two are the same, he must have had Sussex connections, but his date of death is too late to fit the author of the SAS article. Finally there is John S Lee who was surveyor to George G Scott junior and also active after 1882, though his dates have yet to be established. John Swanwick was dead by 1883 and assuming the writer of the SAS article and the restorer of Seaford church are the same, that must make him the favourite for both However, the difference in middle name rules him out as the designer of the former reredos at Heyshott, who might well have been Thomas Stirling Lee, though less probably it could have been John Stirling. A final candidate who can be discounted with confidence is yet another son of John Swanwick Lee, John Stevens Lee (1876-1939), who was considerably younger. He too was an architect, with an office at 2 Bedford Square and with brief entries in WWA 1914-26, and in CCL in 1920, but although he designed a tombstone at Seaford for a relative who died in 1909, demonstrating a further family connection with the town, his date of birth alone means he cannot have carried out the work on Seaford church in 1882. He was Superintending Architect, Ministry of Agriculture from 1919.
Restored: Seaford (1882)
Fitting: Heyshott, reredos (formerly) (‘Stirling Lee’)
Lawrence Stanley Lee (1909-2011) studied at Kingston College of Art and then the Royal College of Art (RCA), where he was a pupil of M Travers. With an interruption during World War II, he remained with Travers until after the latter’s death in 1948, when together with J Crawford Lee completed his outstanding commissions, including a triptych at Wadhurst. In the same year he became head of stained glass at the RCA, where he was an influential teacher for younger glass designers – his many assistants included J Ross (Gray) and N Kantorowicz. His best known work is his glass for the nave at Coventry cathedral, on which he worked while at the RCA, assisted by his students, who also included K New. At that time his glass was primarily abstract, but his later work frequently incorporated figures. His studio was located successively in Sutton and New Malden, Surrey and Penshurst, Kent, whilst he also had links with Northiam.
Obit: The Guardian 12 May 2011; my thanks are due to Rona Moody, a former assistant of Lee, for providing further information about him
Glass: Brighton and Hove, – St Saviour (formerly); Fletching; Heathfield; Pett; Worthing, – St Botolph, Heene
N A Lee-Evans
The earliest reference to Nicholas A Lee-Evans in person is in 1987, when he was elected to the RIBA, though the practice that still bears his name, Lee-Evans LLP, was established in 1974. He lives and works at Canterbury and also has an office in Gray’s Inn Road, London. The practice has unsurprisingly done much work in the eastern part of Kent, largely housing projects and commercial developments, though it continues to adapt churches.
Restored/extended: Angmering (2007-09); Brighton and Hove, – St Patrick (1998-2002); Crowborough, – All Saints (1999); Cuckfield (2011-12); Worthing, – St Mary, Broadwater (2009)
Lefevre, Wood and Royle
The partnership, first in Hastings and then in Rye, has existed since 1963 with a particular interest in building conservation. Ralph Wood (1933-2001), for many years a leading partner, did much work on churches in Sussex and elsewhere; the list below is certainly incomplete.
Restored/repaired: Brighton and Hove, – St Paul (1996); Frant (c1977); Hastings, – St Leonard, Marina (c1998 – report); Mayfield (1976-77); Peasmarsh (1977); Playden (1970-72 and 1987); Rotherfield (1988-89)
Fitting: Mayfield, altar
James Legrew (1803-57) was born in Surrey of Huguenot ancestry and studied under Sir F Chantry and at the RA Schools. He then travelled to Rome, before setting up in business in London. Though seemingly successful materially, he committed suicide.
Memorial: East Grinstead, – St Swithun
Jane Lemon is a professional church embroiderer and chairs the Sarum Group with which she has been involved for many years since it was established in 1978. Her work is to be seen in several cathedrals and numerous parish churches and her work has been recognised by the award of the MBE. She has also worked as a costume designer both for the theatre and television.
Rev J B Lennard
John Barrett Lennard (1839-98) was a son of Sir Thomas Lennard Bart, described as MP for Sussex in the 1851 census but in fact MP for Essex, who in 1841 was living in Bryanston Square, London, whilst his son was living in the family’s country seat at Aveley, Essex. In 1861 after study at Cambridge, J B Lennard was a lodger in Westminster, described as a fundholder, and was ordained in 1865. He was vicar of Fauls, Shropshire by 1871 and then rector of Crawley from 1876 to his death, when his son Herbert (1864-1934) succeeded him. It is not known how he acquired his interest and skills in woodcarving.
Fittings: Crawley, – St John the Baptist
Patrick Letschka trained and worked as a woodworker and then studied woodcarving and design at the University of Brighton, where he now teaches in the Centre for Research and Development. He has been closely involved with the design and making of ecclesiastical fittings since 1995 and his interests also extend to drawing.(he has exhibited his work) and the moving image.
Fittings: Brighton and Hove, – Chapel Royal, table; Haywards Heath, – Ascension, font
NB. The numbers in brackets refer to the sources listed at the end.
The ’Lewes Group’ of wall-paintings is perhaps the greatest area of controversy in the field of Sussex early church studies, into which several foreign scholars have been drawn. The questions of artistic influences and possible authorship have been discussed for well over a century. Though the paintings at Hardham had been recorded in 1866, it was the discovery of those at Clayton in 1893 that suggested a linked group of early wall-paintings in Mid-Sussex, which would include the previous discovery of some at Keymer and Westmeston, neither of them preserved. Contemporary drawings of those at Westmeston (in 5) are known, though owing much to C19 styles of drawing, but there is only a written record of those at Keymer, so further discussion of them is not profitable. Some lost paintings at Slaugham found in 1857 have also been linked (see BE(W) p609), though the sketches in an article by C H Campion in SAC 13 (1861) do not suggest any similarities. As with those found at Keymer, the evidence is too tenuous to be considered further.
The link with Campion is nevertheless intriguing for he was incumbent of Westmeston when in 1862 some paintings were found in the church which were then isolated but proved to have definite iconographic links to those found later at Hardham. He published a further article in 1864 in SAC (5) in which appears the earliest suggestion of a link with a monastic house, specifically Lewes priory. The wider issue raised by his suggestion has been to the fore in most later discussion of the paintings. Thus J L André in his second article on Sussex wall-paintings (1 p297) (the first, in SAC 38 (1892) need not further be considered further here since there is nothing material about any of the relevant paintings) noted that Hardham was close to a monastic house. He presumably had Hardham priory in mind, but since that was only founded in the mid-C13 it is hardly relevant and the suggestion indicates only that André had not given datings any thought. In any case he did not pursue the point, but he would have known P M Johnston, then the leading authority on mediaeval churches in the county through the SAS. It was Johnston, only a year later in his article in SAC for 1901 (13), who first grappled with the wider issue of authorship and postulated a linked group. At this time, he knew Clayton and Hardham but expressed only ‘a half belief’ that Clayton and slight remains at Binsted (found in 1867-68) should be included in any group. Despite Campion’s earlier suggestion, his only mention of Lewes priory specifically was a note that remains of contemporary work had been found there; nothing more of these is known. By 1909 Johnston, in a further article on wall-paintings (in 17), had hardened his ideas and proposed a ‘Lewes Priory School’ that was responsible for all the paintings. He now omitted the fragmentary survival at Binsted and was surely right to do so, as it shows stylistic differences and there are reasons for dating it to a slightly later date in the C12. He saw irrefutable foreign workmanship, primarily Cluniac (to which order Lewes priory belonged), and suggested that the priory had employed a ‘band of Burgundian artists’ from around Cluny. His argument for a link was largely based on the belief that all the churches concerned had belonged to the priory.
Johnston seems increasingly to have seen his thesis as fact and he was followed by E W Tristram, who in 1944 (23) without explanation reinstated Binsted and added lost paintings at Slaugham, disregarded by subsequent authorities. He posited a slightly wider geographical spread by including contemporary paintings at Witley, Surrey. However, much of the basis for Johnston’s proposed group based on Lewes priory, as elaborated by Tristram, was undermined when obviously related paintings at Coombes were uncovered in 1949. Not only did Coombes never belong to the priory, but it was now fairly well established that Clayton, at least at the material time, did not either.
Even before the discovery at Coombes, Clive Bell in 1946 (3) had questioned Tristram’s and Johnston’s conclusions, as he knew of doubts about the ownership of Clayton and was wary of Tristram’s methodology and tendency to over-elaboration. Bell stressed the part played by coincidence in the case of similarities of subject matter and style, whilst acknowledging that the Priory could have been a source of ideas. Also in 1946, Audrey Baker (2) advanced an alternative explanation, which accounted more positively for foreign influence by focusing on William de Warenne, a local magnate with known links to Flanders (which she believed to be the main source of foreign influence). She studied the paintings for over fifty years and has produced the most convincing analysis of the iconography of those at Clayton (SAC 108 pp58-81).
A final addition to the ‘group’ (so far) was in 1955, when fragments were uncovered at Plumpton, showing stylistic and iconographic similarities. Others had been uncovered there in 1867 but not preserved and more came to light in 1964. Campion had seen those found in 1867, but drew no conclusions as they were then dated to the C14. Among those now to be seen, there is an evident decline in technique and Robin Milner-Gulland (16) inclines to place them near the end of the ‘Group’s’ period of activity, which seems reasonable, whilst E C Rouse (in SNQ 14 (Nov 1956) pp187-89) dated the paintings he uncovered in 1955 to c1120.
Subsequent discussion has centred on the nature of the Group and the extent and origin of foreign influence; both remain controversial. No one has questioned the existence of a group of some kind, whilst the extent of foreign influence is important because it could affect the dating. Binsted and Witley have not been reinstated into the canon and need not be further considered, but archaeology has revealed what could be related fragments at Angmering and David Park (18) has suggested that the remains of clearly early paintings at Eastergate, known since 1869 but long covered up and never properly investigated, should also be considered.
Possible alternatives for the centre of the Group have emerged. The addition of Coombes and doubts about Clayton’s links to Lewes weakened the arguments for this being at Lewes, though the priory was one of the three dominant church-building projects in Sussex at the time. As long as the churches with paintings were in Mid-Sussex and assuming that priests in a large church were most likely to possess the necessary learning and influence, it seemed the most plausible candidate. However, Angmering and Eastergate are closer to Chichester and their inclusion could equally suggest that the Group spread eastwards from there. For geographical reasons, the third candidate, Battle Abbey, is less likely, though like Chichester and Lewes it was being built and thus attracted skilled artisans and workmen.
One reason for preferring Lewes is that as a daughter-house of Cluny in Burgundy it would have been particularly open to foreign influences. However, Milner-Gulland has questioned the extent of such influence, arguing that the paintings do not show Romanesque (i e continental) features so much as Anglo-Saxon ones. Initially he suggested they could be pre-Conquest, basing much of his argument on Harold Taylor’s conviction that Clayton church was pre-Conquest. Taylor never changed his view, but Eric Fernie dates it anywhere between the second quarter of the C11 and the early C12 (10), whilst Gem (11)) places it specifically in the post-Conquest period. No definite conclusion can be reached, but it follows that the date of the architecture is too tentative for use in dating the paintings. Milner-Gulland acknowledges this, but still believes Clayton to be Anglo-Saxon in style, if not by date.
There can be no doubt that there were pre-Conquest paintings in Sussex churches. Though there is at present no widely accepted example in the county, there are two in Hampshire (Nether Wallop and the New Minster at Winchester, of which fragments from the latter were found during excavations). As regards Sussex, P M Johnston suggested as early as 1909 that the consecration cross at Ford and the figures at Eastergate were pre-Conquest, although his proposition remains untested. However, it is hard to define, even when considering the pre-Conquest period, what is meant by Anglo-Saxon art. Otto Demus (8), sees the ‘dynamic draughtsmanship’ of the Sussex paintings as a characteristic of Anglo-Saxon work and calls them archaic, but dates them to the C12 and sees also Anglo-Norman characteristics. Others have seen various foreign influences – Byzantine (Tristram and Bell, followed by Anne Marshall in www.paintedchurch.org), Ottonian German (Audrey Baker), Danish (Grabar (12)), Flemish (Audrey Baker) and Poitou (Margaret Rickert (19)). Perhaps this wide spread of perceptions can best be summed up as indicating how far there was a common artistic heritage across much of Europe at the time the paintings were done.
Some suggestions are more plausible than others, but taken together, the existence of at least some foreign parallels seems beyond question. Given the extent to which national styles, not excluding Anglo-Saxon art, were related at this time, the impossibility of isolating Anglo-Saxon art from continental tendencies is clear. Influences were felt both ways. Audrey Baker points to the St Omer (then in Flanders) school of manuscripts as an example of a continental school under Anglo-Saxon influence throughout the C11, yet also showing German, Byzantine and Flemish elements. Such differing views show the subjectivity of stylistic analysis, particularly in an age of extensive cross-fertilisation. St Omer may not have been a direct influence on Sussex, but it shows that the Anglo-Saxon style was part of a wider synthesis that can have been little influenced by the consequences of 1066. The development of C11 art in Anglo-Saxon England shows a gradual transformation by Romanesque examples, in Audrey Baker’s phrase. In the case of wall-paintings the problem is compounded by the small amount of evidence that survives. There are many more manuscripts and this allows comparisons to be made more easily and realistically. However, whereas monks produced manuscripts,, for wall-paintings their primary role was to supply ideas and designs to other craftsmen. Thus, new ideas appeared in manuscripts first, which makes any archaism in Sussex paintings as noted by Demus easier to comprehend.
The notion of a rigid stylistic divide between the pre- and post-Conquest periods seems increasingly unhelpful, as more recent studies of church architecture of the period have demonstrated. It cannot of course be denied that the Conquest brought change, nowhere more than in the immensely complex subject of iconography. In some cases the subject-matter of the paintings is straightforward, as in the nativity cycles at Coombes and Hardham (nave). However, particularly at Clayton and Hardham chancel, C R Dodwell (9) points out that some is distinctive and hard to interpret. At Hardham Eve is milking a cow, rather than spinning as was usual. At Clayton and Coombes, groups of figures in architectural settings have been widely seen as Christ giving the keys to St Peter and the book to St Paul and the same subject may have been depicted at Westmeston. This is said to have been a favourite subject of the Cluniacs, though Park finds no obvious similarities of style. An unusual feature at Hardham (and formerly at Westmeston) is the replacement of Christ in triumph above the chancel arch by the Lamb of God. Cragoe suggests this arrangement may have been linked to the presence of a rood on or near the altar (7 p21).
Iconography can help dating, but has limitations. Thus some of the paintings at Hardham are thought to represent scenes from the life of St George. It used to be believed that this cult in the West dated from after the battle of Antioch in 1098, when he appeared to the victorious Crusader army, but Park has found earlier English references.
Technical questions also illuminate those of dating. All the paintings are in true fresco technique, in which the paint is applied directly to wet plaster (made from gypsum, which is found around Battle). This technique makes colours more durable, since the pigments combine with the plaster as it dries, but has the drawback that the artist has to work fast on a small part of the design at a time. As it is hard to make changes, it is only for use by confident artists and fell out of use in England in the C12, though developed further in Italy. Differing techniques of painting suggest that several artists were at work; for example, at Clayton but not Hardham, black under-painting is used for the flesh tints. The small number of pigments were mineral in origin, e g ochre for red. Much work has been done on analysing them, showing that most come from readily available raw materials, sometimes blended. There are a few more exotic ingredients, notably the greens, likely to be made from malachite, which was probably imported from eastern France, then the nearest known source.
Even if the iconography came from other, more learned sources, the artists’ skills are evident. The figures in the surviving paintings have tall, narrow proportions and a tendency to gesticulate. The painter of the giant at Coombes, seeming to hold up one side of the chancel arch, had observed men carry great weights and could depict what he had seen. The figures of Adam and Eve at Hardham attempt to depict human anatomy realistically and the overall design of Clayton, the finest surviving composition, must have been literally awe-inspiring in the dark church.
For the earlier part of the debate about the ‘Lewes Group’, the question of their date seems not to have generated much sustained thought, though its relevance is obvious. The first writer on Clayton, C E Keyser (1896 (14)), proposed a late C13 dating, even though Campion had suggested over 30 years before that the Westmeston paintings were probably mid-C12. Keyser gave no reason; nor does Caiger-Smith (4) who with Anne Marshall (see next paragraph) is the only subsequent writer to propose relatively late dates – c1200 (Clayton), ‘second half of the C12’ (Coombes) or ‘late C12’ (Hardham).
The first authority to take dating seriously was Johnston. At first, he inclined to the early C12, but in his latest thoughts of 1935 (AJ 92 p418) he suggested, without giving reasons, that Hardham dated from c1140 and Clayton from c1160 (he thought them related but not by the same hand). Soon afterwards, Tristram proposed datings of c1125 for Hardham and c1150 for Clayton. For a long time neither was challenged – Pevsner, Grabar, Rickert and Demus follow these without comment whilst Bell notes they are controversial but does not enlarge. Only in the 1980s was the matter reconsidered seriously. Park reverted to Johnston’s earlier dating and proposed c1100-10, in which he is followed by Dodwell and, specifically in the case of Hardham but more widely, by implication, by the Courtauld researchers (6). Milner-Gulland initially proposed a pre-Conquest date for Clayton (perhaps c1050) and, as the most assured, placed it first in a sequence ending with Plumpton, which he believed to be post-Conquest but pre-1086. This remains his preference, whilst acknowledging difficulties over the dating of the architecture and the small number of surviving paintings. Most recently, Anne Marshall (in www.paintedchurch.org retrieved on 29/4/2013), who has not examined the paintings at Plumpton and not completed her study of those in the nave at Hardham, has reverted to something approaching Tristram’s datings. She has assigned all the paintings to the C12 with Hardham dating from around 1125 and Clayton and Coombes from the second half of the century. Since she has not as yet essayed a chronology of the paintings in the various churches, as Milner-Gulland has done, it is possible that these datings will be modified.
Though there is no documentary evidence, the visual evidence alone suggests a linked group of paintings. The surviving works that can be linked with certainty are all in what is vaguely called Mid-Sussex, stretching from Plumpton in the east to Hardham in the west. The possibility of related paintings at Eastergate and Angmering further west requires serious examination, especially of the former, which are said to be still in situ. As far as the paintings at Westmeston are concerned, despite the impossibility of examining them today, similarities of iconography shown on the surviving sketches as well as geographical factors are powerful arguments for their inclusion in any group.
The paintings were not by artists from a single workshop. There was probably a loosely linked group of secular artisans, working both separately and together and helping to train each other, and it seems plausible that this would have been located close to a religious establishment. This would have provided the group with ideas on iconography and style, though it it is by no means certain that this was a Cluniac one. The sources were written works or illustrations in manuscripts, produced locally and elsewhere, for this was an age of stylistic mobility, nationally and internationally. Anglo-Saxon art gave at least as much internationally as it received and particular influences are hard to isolate. Sussex saw three major new foundations in the half-century after the Conquest; monastic foundations at Lewes and Battle and Chichester cathedral. Of the three, Lewes may still seem the most likely base for the group, on grounds of geography and, to some extent, its senior position within English monasticism generally, but geography at least might weigh less as a factor if Angmering and Eastergate were to be added to the group; for reasons already stated, Binsted can be excluded. Despite the obvious limitations of the term, it is for the present acceptable to refer to the ‘Lewes Group’, providing it is in inverted commas and the lack of hard evidence is acknowledged.
The most recent research involving the Group has opened unexpected new dimensions. Roger Rosewell has published a watercolour sketch dating from the 1730s of now lost wall-paintings in Quatford church, Shropshire (See SALON 415 [Electronic Newsletter of the Society of Antiquaries of London] October 2018), which are clearly early and centre on a representation of the Lamb of God above the late C11 chancel arch. This recalls the similar iconography in this position at Hardham and Westmeston, which has always been regarded as highly unusual, if not unique. The possibility of a direct link between the two, geographically remote from each other though they may be, is enhanced by the the fact that Roger de Mortimer was both Lord of the rape of Arundel and the first Earl of Shrewsbury, in which capacity he founded Quatford church, which was consecrated in 1086. This new information must at this stage be treated with caution. The drawbacks of C18 and C19 depictions of mediaeval wall-paintings are obvious (see for instance the sketches accompanying C H Campion’s article on those found at Westmeston). However, though at first glance the stylistic as opposed to iconographic similarities seem limited, this is clearly a most significant discovery in the field of mediaeval wall-paintings and further assessment after its promised fuller publication is eagerly awaited.
If an extension of the ‘Group’ so far beyond Sussex were to be accepted, it could require a new title, though a further link with Sussex is possible since Quatford is close to Much Wenlock priory, an older monastery re-founded by Roger de Mortimer in c1079-82 as a Cluniac house. Though its main allegiance was to the French La Charité-sur-Loire (see VCH Shropshire 2, 1973, – on-line version), links to Lewes priory are quite plausible as the prime house of the Cluniac order in England. This factor and its significance for the theory of a possible Cluniac link may require more thought when fuller information is available. Meanwhile, most recent study of the Sussex paintings has moved to the question of dating, as with architecture of the same period. The fabric of all the churches concerned is probably C11, but none is definitely pre-Conquest; indeed, much recent thinking suggests they were built afterwards. Similarly, the paintings themselves sit more comfortably at that time. Delays in the transmission of new iconography and styles from manuscript artists mean that archaic features in a painting need not preclude a later dating. Architectural historians have identified an apparent conscious revival of pre-Conquest features in churches built in the 1090s (though none in Sussex), so a similar trend in ‘Lewes Group’ paintings is plausible. Archaic (Anglo-Saxon, if preferred) features often appear in these together with indicators of a later date. The latter are primarily iconographic and Cluny would seem a plausible source, though this is as yet far from proved. Despite the discovery of references to St George in the West before 1098, his cult undeniably received an impetus then, so the later the date, the more likely he is to be depicted. The discovery of a C12 reference to the dedication of Hardham as St George (6 p3) points to a date after 1100 as he is prominently shown in the nave there.
Reviewing the evidence as it now stands, the ‘Lewes Group’ paintings most probably date from shortly after 1100, a dating accepted with little comment in the most recent general assessment of English Wall paintings by Roger Rosewell (20 p11). Rouse’s dating of c1120 for the fragments at Plumpton would accord with this on the assumption that they are the latest. It is hard to accept a later date, as proposed by Anne Marshall for Clayton in particular, though she has not stated her reasons. The small quantity of paintings to survive makes it impossible to deduce their sequence or how long the group lasted, though there are sound reasons for placing Plumpton at the end. Only the paintings at Clayton and Hardham give a good idea of their original appearance, though at Coombes enough survives to show that, though techniques were different, the quality was comparable. The others are fragments or survive only in inadequate C19 drawings and descriptions.
Differences in technique, iconography and design show that the surviving paintings are by several artists. They varied in skill and the one responsible for Clayton was probably the most competent. However, it is pointless to speculate whether he inspired the others or improved their ideas in his own work. Later mediaeval and Renaissance art provides examples both of artists who produced new ideas that inspired those who came after and of others who worked within an existing idiom, to which they gave new direction. Nor is it fruitful to speculate whether the artist of Clayton was English or foreign, whether by birth or by training and influence. The surviving work can be interpreted either way, but Bell’s emphasis on coincidences should not be overlooked. Whatever the origin of the artists, that of those who provided the ideas could be equally decisive.
1. J L André: Wall Paintings in Sussex Churches, Transactions of the St Paul’s Ecclesiological Society 4 (1900) pp297-307
2. A Baker: Lewes Priory and the Early Group of Wall Paintings in Sussex, WS 31 (1942-43) pp1-44
3. C Bell: Twelfth Century Paintings at Hardham and Clayton, Lewes, 1947
4. A Caiger-Smith: English Medieval Mural Paintings, Oxford, 1963
5. C H Campion: Mural Paintings in Westmeston Church, SAC 16 (1864) pp1-19
6. Courtauld Institute of Art, Conservation of Wall Painting Department: St Botolph’s Church Hardham, West Sussex – the Wall Paintings, 1994
7. C D Cragoe: Belief and Patronage in the English Parish before 1300: some Evidence from Roods, AH 48 (2005) pp21-43
8. O Demus: Romanesque Mural Paintings, 1970
9. C R Dodwell: The Pictorial Arts of the West, New Haven and London, 1993
10. E Fernie: The Architecture of the Anglo-Saxons, 1983
11. R Gem: The ‘Lewes Group’ of Wall Paintings – Architectural Considerations, ANS 6 (1984) pp236-37
12 A Grabar and C Nordenfalk: Romanesque Painting, Lausanne, 1958
13. P M Johnston: Hardham Church and its Early Paintings, SAC 44 (1901) pp73-115
14. C E Keyser: Mural Paintings at the Churches of Clayton and Rotherfield, SAC 40 (1896) pp211-21
15. H C Loasby: The Wall Paintings of Clayton Church, Sussex, Ditchling, nd
16. R R Milner-Gulland: The Problem of the Early Sussex Frescoes, SH 7 (1985) pp25-54
17. P D Mundy (ed): Memorials of Old Sussex, 1909 (contains article by P M Johnston)
18. D Park: The ‘Lewes Group’ of Wall Paintings in Sussex, ANS 6 (1984) pp200-37
19. M Rickert: Painting in Britain: The Middle Ages, Harmondsworth, 1954
20. R Rosewell: Medieval Wall Paintings, Woodbridge, 2008:
21. C Rouse: Wall Paintings at Coombes, SNQ 12 (May/Aug 1949) pp121-23
22. and A Baker: The Early Wall Paintings at Coombes Church, Sussex and their Iconography, AJ 136 (1979) pp218-28
23. E W Tristram: English Medieval Wall Painting – the Twelfth Century, Oxford, 1944
Probable: Clayton; Coombes; Hardham; Plumpton; Westmeston (lost)
Doubtful: Angmering; Binsted; Eastergate (hidden from view); Keymer (lost); Witley, Surrey
Thomas Little (1802-59) was a Londoner, who was a pupil of R Abraham and in his earlier career functioned both as architect and surveyor, before concentrating on architecture. He designed or restored a number of churches and at least two cemetery chapels in London, at Nunhead (1844) and Paddington (1855). He also designed almshouses in Richmond, Surrey and at least one commercial building in London. He exhibited at the RA between 1832 and 1851, though the latest known date of a building by him is 1856, and he is probably the ‘Mr Little’ of London who repaired Clitheroe castle, Lancashire in 1848.
Lit: BAL Biog file; Obit: The Builder (1859) 17 p855
Designed: Fairlight (1845)
R J Lloyd
Reginald James Lloyd (b1926) is an artist who was born in Hereford and except for a brief period at Exeter School of Art was self-taught. He has worked extensively in graphics, especially when living in Cornwall and later Devon, in both abstract and representational modes. In addition to designing stained glass and pottery, he has illustrated the works of the poet Ted Hughes.
Arthur Loader (1839-95) was a Brighton man, with addresses including 21 Clifton Hill, 32 Ship Street, 54 Old Steine and (KD/S 1882) 52½ North Street. He had an office in Shoreham in 1876 and 1882 (possibly because his main preoccupation at the time was the restoration of New Shoreham church) (KD) and worked outside Sussex, e g laying out roads and drains at Llantrisant in Wales (B 32 p362). He was associated with the public improvements carried out in Brighton under Philip Causton Lockwood (1820-1908), Borough Surveyor from 1858 to 1889. Loader protested about the botched restoration work at New Shoreham before taking the work on himself, for which, in turn, he was criticised, unfairly by the standards of the day. In the year of his death the practice was known as Loader and Long (Arch J 1, 15 October 1895 p v); his partner was Edgar Wallis Long (b1870), architect and surveyor, who had been settled in Brighton since at least 1891. His professional address remained at 54 Old Steine in 1899 and he was still living in Preston in 1911 and continued to do so until at least 1938 (KD). He probably bore the brunt of the work of the practice even before Loader’s death for whom, following his election as a councillor in 1886, architecture played a smaller part in his life. His obituary in The Brighton Gazette (6 April 1895) mentions it only obliquely, in connection with his interest in housing matters, whilst going into detail about his activities on the council, as a Freemason and as churchwarden of St Peter’s.
Designed: Portslade, Fishersgate Mission Church (1879-80 – dem)
Restored: New Shoreham (1874-81); Old Shoreham (1884); Southwick (1877-83); West Dean (W) (1878-80)
J P Lomax
John Pye Lomax (1922-2004) was a partner in the Hurstpierpoint practice of Hughes, Lomax and Adutt. Its other work included both offices and houses, some outside Sussex. According to his death notice he was a former head of the School of Architecture in Brighton which was presumably connected with the School of Art and is thus the forerunner of the present University of Brighton.
Repaired: Hurstpierpoint (1971-72)
In the late C13 in England a new form of memorial within churches, brass effigies in low relief and set in a stone slab, emerged. At much the same time similar brasses appeared elsewhere in Europe, particularly in the Low Countries, the Baltic and parts of Eastern Europe, notably Bohemia as then constituted. In England, they were initially made in workshops in London, which were controlled by marblers from Purbeck, since most slabs into which effigies were set consisted of so-called marble from there; however, intriguingly and exceptionally, one marbler was named more fully as Ralph of Chichester. Several marblers had moved to London in the mid-C13, possibly in the first place to supply and process the large amounts of marble needed for Westminster Abbey, then being built. They were associated particularly with masons and concentrated in the area round St Paul’s churchyard. The finished memorials were transported by water as close to their destination as possible and then by cart. In areas remote from London, local workshops emerged at various times, especially in the C15, but not in Sussex. There is no known example in the county from the workshop at Canterbury, which managed to survive between c1525 and 1545 (2 p4) despite its relative proximity to London.
Before they embarked on effigies, the earliest products of the London marblers were slabs with incised crosses or other emblems. Brass was not always used and then only for inscriptions in the early stages. The metal was actually latten, an alloy of copper and zinc with small amounts of other metals, the exact composition of which varied. It came from the Low Countries in unworked sheets (sometimes the backs of earlier brasses). The area around Dinant (in present-day Belgium) was a prolific source. The few finished imported brass effigies can be identified, even if the effigy has gone, by their slabs. At Winchelsea there is a black marble one from Tournai (also now in Belgium), another major centre of such work, but there is no complete example in Sussex. Early brasses were fixed with bitumen, which often failed, so from about 1320 brass dowels were preferred.
The earliest incised slabs date from soon after 1260 and effigies had probably emerged by the 1280s, though there was earlier a view that few pre-dated 1300. However, from c1310 the proportion of such effigies increased. Initially these were limited to the nobility and higher clergy. Some slabs (not in Sussex) combine inscriptions cut into the slab with engraved figures in brass. In either case, the slabs were from Purbeck. It was the realisation that brasses and incised slabs came from the same workshops that made detailed study of their output possible.
Dating effigies is not straightforward. It does not follow that a dated inscription is accurate. Some were made before death and the date was then added, in extreme cases up to forty years later, whilst others were made well after after death. Others are undated and only a comparison with other products of the same workshop or the armour or clothes provides an approximate period. Armour and clothing are a less reliable a guide than C19 students of brasses believed, because some engravers were slow to adapt to changing fashions. In consequence, some early brasses previously assigned to the third quarter of the C13 (none of them in Sussex) have now been dated thirty or more years later. If a date in the following section has a circa, the effigy is not dated, with all that that entails.
By the mid-C15 much of the status attached to brasses had been lost. Even though manufacture at least in the south of England continued to be largely centred on London, the nature of the customer changed. Most were now merchants or lesser landowners, even yeomen, and their brasses were typically much cheaper and thus smaller – a typical effigy was now at most around two feet long (2 p7). To what extent the breakdown of the tightly organised makers (typified in the various series described below) was a consequence of this change and to what extent it was a cause remains the subject of considerable discussion.
Thought to be the earliest is the so-called Ashford (Kent) Series, so named from the fragment of a brass effigy there, which recent research suggests dates from c1282 and thus likely to be the earliest surviving English brass (5 pp10-11). The series has characteristic lettering and the presence of this on incised slabs of stone at East Lavant (c1292), West Wittering (1305?) and Aldingbourne (by 1306) and three in Chichester cathedral shows they are from the same workshop (ibid pp118-19). Significantly, Aldingbourne and West Wittering were episcopal manors and East Lavant then belonged to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Several workshops in operation by the early C14 have been identified, of which the most important is the Camoys workshop, which appears to have been active between c1305 and 1335 and has been associated with the marbler, Adam of Corfe. It takes its name from the brass to Margaret Camoys (dead by 1319) at Trotton (1 p208). Though a date as early as 1310 is no longer accepted, this remains the earliest to a woman known in England. Older effigies by the workshop are known, but this is one of the first with a canopy (only the indent remains) and was decorated with enamelled shields. The letters of the inscription are made of brass but set individually into the slab, which is another link with earlier incised work.
No other brass or slab before c1360 exists in Sussex. Thereafter there are more, though detailed study is still only possible on a national basis. J P C Kent classified the main London workshops after c1360 in a seminal paper of 1949 (see 11), the conclusions of which are still largely accepted, despite changes in detail. The workshops were still run by marblers and since there were no more than two or at the most three workshops active at any one time (2 p3) the volume of work they could undertake remained limited, though the increasing orientation away from the nobility and the consequent decline in size and quality from the mid-C15 allowed a greater amount of commissions to be undertaken. One consequence of this re-orientation was a poorer standard of engraving and another was a greater uniformity of design.
Kent assigned the products of each workshop he identified to a series with a letter:
This existed from the mid-1350s to c1410. Its only product in Sussex is the incomplete, gracefully curved knight at Bodiam (probably John Wardedieu who died in 1377, though his brass has been dated to c1360). It shows an awareness of contemporary sculpture and, like other products of the workshop at this date, the engraving is finer than the drawing.
This is the most prolific and longest lasting. It started in c1360 and several marblers, including Henry Lakenham, have been associated with it between the 1370s and the death of the last one whose dates are known, John Essex, in 1465. There was a marked reduction in production after that, though it may not have ended until the 1470s. Its gradual development in style indicates a slow but steady turnover of workers. John Blair (Ant J 60 p72) suggests that Lakenham’s former apprentices were pre-eminent in the earlier C15. Most prominent of these was William West, who can be identified from c1387 to 1453. John Harvey in his Dictionary sought to separate this man into a father and son of the same name, but there appears to be only one such person, despite his long life. This may explain the continued preference within the series for austere engraving, even if the design is elaborate, which contrasts with newer groups. Some lettering on late C14 brasses shows similarities to that connected with latten effigies on royal tombs, like Richard II at Westminster or the Black Prince at Canterbury. Instances in Sussex include the lettering on the brass to Sir William de Fiennes (d1402) at Herstmonceux. The royal tombs are substantial works requiring a mason – Henry Yevele (c1320-1400) is thought most likely – and there are grounds for thinking that he or another of comparable standing was involved in the design-work at least for the earlier of these related brasses, not least because he is known also to have had premises near St Paul’s. Brasses in Sussex ascribed to this workshop are:
Lewes, St Michael, c1420
West Grinstead, c1440
New Shoreham, c1450
Buxted – St Margaret c1460(?)
In a significant addition to the pattern proposed by Kent, Emmerson (8 p18) has identified what he calls sub-group B, with characteristics of both Series B and D (see below), especially the lettering. It appears about 1463 and ceased to be active by c1476. Its advent at the point when Series B declined is probably no co-incidence, though the quality of engraving is lower.
Stopham, c1470 (altered c1630)
There is nothing in Sussex except part of an inscription on the back of a brass formerly at Friston from the small Series C, which was probably the work of a single craftsman with links to Series A, who was active from c1380 to c1410 (see 4).
This lasted from c1410 to c1490 and Sally Badham has suggested (4 p223) that it followed on from Series A. Like Series B, it comprises distinct though related groups. The finest example in Sussex is the brass to Thomas, Lord Camoys (d 1419) and his wife at Trotton, one of the relatively few C15 brasses to members of the nobility. Under a magnificent double canopy the couple hold hands, with their adult son, who predeceased them, in miniature by the mother’s foot. A reversed N, long assumed to be the maker’s mark, is found elsewhere, though its significance has been doubted (13 p86). Those in Sussex are:
Trotton, 1421 (dated 1419)
Arundel (fragmentary), c1430
Broadwater (Worthing), 1432
West Firle, 1476
This covers the products of a technically skilled workshop, which produced relatively small quantities between the 1420s and c1452. In Sussex, there are brasses at Battle, Amberley and Wiston. The last, to Sir John de Braose (d 1426) is perhaps the finest, though the detail is fussy, both the armour and the background of scattered small, inscribed scrolls replacing a canopy. Kent suggests (11 pp87-88) the workshop did not limit its products to brasses and that it made these in batches sold over a period, but Emmerson (9 p139) questions the latter hypothesis because of the way the drapery evolves. On the basis of three brasses at Battle that belong to the series and show a clear chronological sequence (there are instances of similar sequences elsewhere) he suggests the workshop benefited from personal recommendation.
Battle, c1430 or possibly later
A damaged effigy of a priest of c1450, given to this series, is thought to come from Bayham Abbey but is now at the Kent County Record Office, Maidstone (see M Norris; The Analysis of Style in Monumental Brasses, in J Bertram (ed) 1996 p118). The dating is significantly later than the other examples of this series found in Sussex and only just predates its assumed final date.
This flourished from c1475 until after 1530 and some of its earlier female effigies, wearing butterfly-headdresses, are noteworthy. Figures are frequently shown in three-quarters profile, which indicates a more confident technique of engraving. One type associated with the series that was popular in the pre-Reformation C16 but then disappeared for theological reasons, has kneeling figures adoring the Resurrection or the Holy Trinity – one remains at Clapham (1526 or earlier). There are similar monuments in stone (see above). Links with the later work of Series B and with ‘sub-group B’ lead Emmerson to suggest (9 p147) that Series F was their successor. Examples in Sussex are:
Clapham, 1526, but possibly earlier
By the late C15 the decline in the quality of most effigies is evident, though Series F maintained a higher standard than Series G, which emerged about 1500. This followed soon after the enfranchising in 1486 of a guild of marblers in the City with the task of maintaining quality and the power to reject sub-standard work. Series G lasted until c1590 and during its lifetime changes in its iconography are apparent, following the new theological thinking brought about by the Reformation, as a result of which overtly religious imagery such as Christ or the Holy Trinity was forbidden. Examples of the series are found at Slaugham (1503), East Grinstead (1505) and Burton (c1553-58). It has been less studied than the earlier series which were technically and artistically superior and close examination of further C16 brasses, of which there are many in the county, would almost certainly add to this series. Ironically, in view of the shortcomings in quality of workmanship, shortly before the end of the series, the separate guild of marblers was merged in 1584 with the masons, with whom they had close links. However, the researches of John Page-Phillips have shown that changes had started earlier. In the mid-C16 workshops became less fixed and were to a considerable degree replaced by more fluid groups of engravers, who co-operated to the extent of sharing designs. Two instances of such groupings were:
Fermor Group and Nayle style
For a few years around 1550 a group of London craftsmen linked to Series G, known as the Fermor workshop (see 10), made brasses of superior quality, despite co-inciding with the most disturbed period of the Reformation. Conceivably they were foreign, in which case they worked outside the City bounds. Examples of their work are to be found in Sussex at Warminghurst (1554) and Clapham (c1555). Another offshoot of Series G was probably responsible for the so-called Nayle style (10 p178). Brasses at Willingdon (1558) and Burton (1558) show its standards were lower. One at Isfield resembles that at Willingdon and both date from the same year.
The manufacture of brasses continued into the C17 and there is evidence (7 p5) that individual workshops became more dominant again. Best recorded of these is that of E Marshall, who like others at a rather earlier date ( e g G Johnson) was a sculptor and mason as well as working in brass. Although he did not die until 1675, Marshsll probably produced all his brasses before the Restoration. He produced the embellishments to the earlier Bartelot brasses at Stopham which were intended to reinforce the family’s pedigree. Such a practice is also found elsewhere at this date. Brasses from this workshop are to be found in Sussex at:
Ardingly, 1633 (attr)
1. Badham, S: Monumental Brasses and the Black Death – a Reappraisal, AJ 80 (2000) pp207-47
2. Badham, S: London Standardisation and Provincial Idiosyncrasy: the Organisation and Working Practices of Brass Engraving Workshops in Pre-Reformation England, CM 5 (1990) pp3-25
3. Badham, S: Cast Alloy tombs and London Series Brass Production in the late Fourteenth Century, TMBS 17/2 (2004) pp105-27
4. Badham, S: The London C Workshop, TMBS 17/3 (2005) pp223-250
5. Badham, S and M Norris: Early Incised Slabs and Brasses from the London Marblers, 1999
6. Bertram, J: Incised Slabs in Sussex, TMBS 13/5 (1984) pp387-96
7. Bertram J (ed): Monumental Brasses as Art and History, 1996
8. Coales, J (ed): The Earliest English Brasses, 1987
9. Emmerson, R: Design for Mass Production: Monumental Brasses Made in London
c1420-85, in Barral i Altet, X (ed): Artistes, Artisans et Production Artistique au Moyen-Age, vol 3, Paris, 1990
10. Hutchinson R and B Egan: History Writ in Brass: the Fermor Workshop 1546-1555, TMBS 15/2 (1993) pp142-83
11. Kent, J P C: Monumental Brasses – a New Classification of Military Effigies c1360-c1485, JBAA (3rd series) 12 (1949) pp70-97
12. Norris, M: Monumental Brasses – The Memorials, 1977 (2 vols)
13. Norris, M: Monumental Brasses – The Craft, 1978
The monument at Northiam signed by Longley, Canterbury can be attributed with certainty to Thomas White Longley (1771-1846) of that city, though he was baptised at Faversham, Kent. The name of Longley first appears in the city around 1782, when the business appears to have been owned by T W Longley’s uncle, Thomas. In 1799 the nephew took over the uncle’s business and he shortly afterwards became master-mason to the cathedral. He also produced a number of memorials which are all in Kent except the one at Northiam, just across the Sussex boundary and another in Northamptonshire. The business is last recorded in 1838, but Thomas White Longley still called himself a mason in 1841. Even if not active himself in its later years, the business is known to have continued for a while in the hands of his son, John Longley.
H W Lonsdale
Horatio Walter Lonsdale (1845-1919) was born in Mexico with British citizenship and by 1851 was in Britain with his widowed mother. He travelled in France and Germany and studied architecture at the RA Schools before becoming assistant to W Burges in 1868. He worked on many of Burges’s projects, including Cardiff Castle, and became chiefly active on the decorative side. This included stained glass, which he designed for W G Saunders, a close associate of Burges, and for Heaton, Butler and Bayne, as well as fittings. Particularly following the death of Burges he appears also to have made glass to the designs of others. In addition to glass, he designed other decorative schemes for churches that included wall-paintings and at least one domestic scheme. His later work is not well documented, but his association with Heaton’s proved a long one, with an example dated as late as 1915 (at Throcking, Hertfordshire). He is known to have produced at least one design for J Powell and Sons; his designs frequently resemble those of Morris and Co and have been mistaken for their work. In 1885 he became an early member of the Art Workers Guild. In his final years he wrote about the techniques of painting, notably perspective, for he was also a skilled watercolourist.
Glass: Brighton and Hove, – St Matthias; – St Michael; Turners Hill
Fitting: Holtye Common, reredos (for Powell’s)
W T Lowdell
William Thorold Lowdell (1861-1944) was born at Lingfield, Surrey into a family already well established in the parish and the area round. He became a pupil of W G Habershon, Alfred Robert Pite (1832-1911) and J F Fawkner from 1878-83. In particular, much of his earlier work is to be found locally and he designed houses and other buildings in the East Grinstead area in the 1880s, some with Henry Hardwicke Langston (1868-1927), a former pupil of G C Haddon, with whom he shared an address at 9 Great James Street from 1883-91. In the latter year he moved to 19 John Street and then to no 25 in the same street, where he was to be found on his own until 1917 (KD/L). In 1901 he was living at Teddington and in 1911 at Hampton Court at a time when he was still practising in London, but he died near Uckfield. He may be presumed to be the ‘William Thorold Lowder’ who worked at Dormansland church, Surrey, near East Grinstead, particularly as Lowdell and Langston had designed the school there in 1888 (B 54 p201). There is in fact an architect, W H Lowder, a pupil of William Butterfield who was subsequently ordained, but it is unlikely that this reference to the name is more than a slip by someone more aware of Lowder than of Lowdell.
Designed: East Grinstead, – St Mary (1891-1912)
Lowndes and Drury The Glass House M Lowndes A Drury
The firm of Lowndes and Drury was founded in 1897 by Mary Lowndes (1856-1929) and Alfred John Drury (1868-1940). Mary Lowndes (ML) was the daughter of a Dorset clergyman and studied at the Slade School in London. She worked on her own initially and much of the glass she then designed was made by J Powell and Sons. She was also associated with H Holiday, the chief designer for Powell’s until he started his own studio and then joined the Southwark firm of Britten and Gilson, never large but noted for technical and artistic innovation in the field of stained glass (no work by them in Sussex has been identified), as an artist. There she met both C Whall and Drury,who had been employed mainly on the manufacturing side by the company since 1893 and who attended Whall’s classes at the Central School of Arts and Crafts. Whall oversaw the founding of the new enterprise and much of his glass at the time was made by it. His influence on Lowndes’s work at this time is apparent, though it was probably under Drury’s influence that she started making her own glass. After several rented premises, including at Park Walk in Chelsea, and with Whall’s strong support, the two opened in 1907 a purpose built studio and workshop in Fulham, known as the Glass House, which had a highly influential place in the history of C20 English glass; more than any other single factor, Mary Lowndes was closely associated with and probably partly responsible for the remarkable number of women who designed and made stained glass in the early C20. In addition to encouraging other women, she was increasingly involved in the Suffragette movement, though this had little obvious effect on her glassmaking activities. At the Glass House, artists in glass (e g W Geddes) could work independently, whilst availing themselves of the company’s practical skills when needed. The company also made glass, commissioned designs on their own account and worked for outsiders, who often had little experience in the craft (e g E C Ash). Drury remained best known for his technical skills, but Mary Lowndes both designed glass and drew and coloured it herself, usually in a style related to Art Nouveau. She is buried at Buxted. The firm continued until 1973 under Drury’s son Victor (1899-1988) and Karl Parsons (1884-1934) also played a part after Lowndes’s death, M G Thompson (MGT), E S Ford (ESF), J Crawford (JC), J Ledger (JL) (see this section above) and C Knight (CK) were among the designers who worked with and for them, whilst they produced at least one window to the design of M M Williams (MMW). After the company closed, C J Edwards and his daughter, C Benyon took over the Glass House.
Lit: A O’Donoghue: Mary Lowndes – a Brief Overview of her Life and Work, JSG 24 (2000) pp38-52
Glass: Barnham; Boxgrove (ESF); Burwash Weald (CK); Ditchling (MMW); Five Ashes (JC); Hastings, – St John, Upper Maze Hill (JL and MGT); Heathfield; Henfield; Jevington (MGT); Sennicots (ML)
Arthur Lucas, for whom no dates have been found, was apprenticed as a glass maker to Clayton and Bell and worked particularly with R O Bell. In 1942-45 he worked with the latter on five windows of heraldic glass at Kirk Bramwith, South Yorkshire and about 1946 he went into partnership with R Baldwin (who had also trained with Clayton and Bell); they were still working together in 1971. He lived at Edgware, Middlesex. An NAL Information file for Arthur Lucas (1916-96), formerly Chief Restorer for the National Gallery, gives no reason to assume he is the same.
C L Luck
Charles Lock Luck (1833 -90) gives his occupation as architect in the 1851 census, which shows him to have been born in The Paragon in Blackheath (then in Kent). In 1851 he was living in Gillingham, Kent but in the following year he became a pupil of George Smith (1782-1869), who lived in Blackheath. Luck was in B Ferrey’s office in 1857 and in independent practice by 1859 (KD/L). In the 1860s and 1870s he lived in Kingston-upon-Thames, where he designed a number of churches. Otherwise, at this date he worked with T H Rushforth, with a particular specialism in workhouses though he was responsible for at least one church as late as 1878, at Borstall, Kent. This was in his name only and is one of a number he designed during this phase of his career, including two in the Isle of Wight, along with schools and houses; this might suggest a desire to associate himself again with what were widely seen as the more respectable aspects of architecture. By 1871 he was living in Surbiton, Surrey (B 34 p394) with an office in Carlton Chambers, Regent Street, where R H Carpenter and B Ingelow were also based, though this was probably co-incidence.
Restored: Barcombe (1878-79)
Edith Amelia Lungley (1877-1939) was born in Adelaide, South Australia, but moved permanently to London at the age of 24, though some of her work is to be found in her native city. She studied stained glass at the Royal College of Art under H Hendrie (Dolman) and received her diploma in 1913. She was active both as a designer of stained glass and as an artist, in which capacity she exhibited at the RA in 1929 and 1930. She was joined by her younger sister, Dorothy Lungley, a printmaker, who in the 1930s lived in Chelsea. At the time of Edith’s death they were, however, living together in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, at an address confirmed by DSGW 1939.
Augustus Lunn (1905-86) was born in Preston, but moved at an early age to Surbiton, commencing his studies at Kingston School of Art, before going to the RA Schools. He later taught at the Kingston College and developed a particular interest in murals, painting as well as restoring them. He was influenced by Surrealism and made a particular study of the techniques of tempera painting.
Paintings: Brighton and Hove, – Bishop Hannington Memorial Church, reredos; – St Philip, mural
George Lupton was probably born in 1792 and became assistant to J Nollekens who left him £100 in his will, though Lupton was by then working on his own account from an address off the New Road, London at 2 Keppel Row, where he is shown in PD 1822 . He produced mostly fairly modest tablets and disappears from the records by the late 1820s, though a memorial at Winchelsea, apparently dating from 1843-44, is so similar to the earlier one there known to be by Lupton as to suggest it is by the same hand. However, no George Lupton is shown anywhere in London in the 1841 census.
Memorials: Hurstpierpoint; Winchelsea
Sir E Lutyens
Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens (1869-1944) is regarded by some as the greatest English architect since Wren. After training with Sir Ernest George (1839-1911) he started his own practice in 1889. He was initially famous for his country houses, generally relatively modest and often with gardens designed by Gertrude Jeckyll (1843-1932). With increasing fame came ever larger commissions, including much of Hampstead Garden Suburb and, most importantly, New Delhi, completed in 1930. In later life he became President of the Royal Academy. His churches were few and generally secondary, but his memorials were much admired, both those in churches and in the community generally. That applied in particular to his war memorials, both in Britain and in France, which were on an altogether larger scale.
Memorials: Amberley; Salehurst
G W Luxford
George William Luxford (1851-1933) was a Londoner described in successive censuses as a lead glazier or lead light maker. This might suggest he was primarily an artisan and there is only one certain record of him as a maker of stained glass for churches. However, he is listed in KD/L as an artist in stained glass in Kentish Town from 1884, together with his brother Alexander John Luxford (1863-1957). As G and A Luxford and Co, they are in KD/L down to 1905 and G W Luxford by himself is listed as a glass stainer in 1913-14 only. He died at Barnet, which provides a probable link to a current company there called Luxford Studios. They are manufacturers of stained glass, founded in 1946 but said to be based on 300 years of stained glass making in the family, and still managed by members of the Luxford family; this has now relocated to Devon. Frank L Luxford who designed several windows in the 1960s (none in Sussex) was one of three brothers connected with this company (Thomas and Harold were the others) and they also used outside designers including C C Powell. The design of one of the windows given to G W Luxford at St Mary, Brighton has also been given to W G Saunders; if that is correct, but assuming Luxford was also involved in some way, that may confirm that he was initially a maker of glass to the designs of others, at any rate before 1880, when Saunders left the country.
Glass: Brighton and Hove, – St Mary
The long established Brighton building firm of George Lynn and Son is known to have been run successively by a father and son of the same name. The founder was George Lynn (1806/07-91) and his son was also George (1836-1904), who was in addition a surveyor (Harrod’s Directory 1867 and KD 1878). The firm had several addresses, but the best documented is 31-32 Marlborough Street, and in 1881 it employed 130 hands. The father was born at East Grinstead, where there was in 1839 (PD) a builder of the name who was two years younger. He was probably related and though separate, seems to have established a long running business, for as late as 1921 the firm of masons there, G H Lynn and Son, produced the war memorial at Ashurst Wood nearby. In 1881 George junior lived at 1 Buckingham Road (KD/S), but in 1891 he had moved to 71 Dyke Road and he spent his last years in Lancing. By 1891, the firm appears to have been in the hands of Charles Lynn (1840-1912), who lived at 3 Buckingham Road, and was a younger son of George senior. However, there was a third generation, yet another George (b1869), who was the son of George junior and was described as a builder in 1911. It seems likely that he was also connected with the firm at some point. This still existed in 1933 when it built St Wilfrid, Elm Grove, Brighton, but is not listed in the final edition of KD Sussex in 1938.
Extended: Brighton, – Holy Trinity, Ship Street (1869 – attr, most probably to George junior)