Gimson and The Barnsleys

Seven day tour from Cotswolds to London

Tour Date

Departure: September 7, 2019
Return: September 16, 2019
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Tour Description

When Mary Greensted first published her major examination of the work of Ernest Gimson and the brothers Sidney and Ernest Barnsley in 1980, it had been over a decade since Lionel Lambourne’s Gimson exhibition at Leicester – which was opened by Gordon Russell – and over 50 years since anyone had seriously published their work. That book, “Gimson and the Barnsleys: Wonderful Furniture of a Commonplace Kind”, was reissued in 1991. And now nearly 30 years later, Mary’s new book with a reassessment of their work and their place within the world of the Arts and Crafts Movement, is short to be published.

Following several tours to the Cotswolds which looked at the work of C.R.Ashbee, William Morris, and his friends, it seems an appropriate time to offer a tour which features the work of these three major architects and designers. This tour, which will be next September, while spending the majority of the time in the Cotswolds, will begin in the north in Greenlaw, Scotland at Marchmont House where the legacy of Ernest Gimson is being carried on by Lawrence Neal. Gimson apprenticed with Philip Clissett and in turn, Lawrence’s father Neville followed the tradition. Now Hugo Burge, the owner of Marchmont House where we will be staying, is establishing a workshop in the stables.

From Greenlaw, we head south stopping at Cragside, designed by Richard Norman Shaw who taught the three and then on to the marvelous St. Andrew’s Church by E.S. Prior in Roker which has a number of fittings by Gimson. We’ll end that evening in Bradford where Gimson executed extraordinary plaster work for the Council Chambers.

An evening at a Coaching Inn will take us back to a feeling for the time at the turn of the last century when Ernest Gimson built Stoneywell, a cottage for his own family, in Leicester which we visit the next day.

And then it is on to the Cotswolds where we stay at one of our favorite hotels, Barnsley House. Not, however, named for either of the Barnsleys but is in the charming small village of Barnsley.

While in the Cotswolds we will be visiting Rodmarton Manor, the village of Sapperton where Gimson and the Barnsleys lived, Owlpen Manor where we can see much of their furniture as we can at Hilles House where we will have dinner. And then in Broadway at the Gordon Russell Museum, we will have a chance to see a further continuation of their work and traditions.

Our final stay will be in London and from there we will visit Bedales school and its several buildings with work by Ernest Barnsley as well as going to his workshop, which again attests to the influence he and the others have had which lasts to today


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