At Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum Arts and Crafts Museum

Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, and the Cotswolds

Leading artists, architects and designers were drawn to the Cotswolds by its rich craft traditions, by its accessibility to London, Birmingham and Oxford, and by the cultivated charm of the landscape. The existing architecture served as an inspiration for the numerous large and small building projects undertaken by Arts & Crafts architects.

From 1871-96 William Morris spent his summers at Kelmscott Manor; in the 1890s three young architect-designers, Ernest Gimson and the brothers Ernest and Sidney Barnsley settled near Cirencester. The migration of craftsmen continued in 1902 when C.R. Ashbee and some 60 craftsmen settled in Chipping Campden, bringing with them the ethos of the Guild of Handicraft originally set up by Ashbee in London's East End in 1888.

Throughout the Cotswolds there are many villages and churches where the work of Arts & Crafts Movement designers can be seen, although many houses are still in private ownership and not open to the public. Details of architectural work can be found in the `Gazetteer to Arts & Crafts Movement Architecture in the Cotswold Region` by Catherine Gordon available from Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum price £1.95.

Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum

This trail starts in Cheltenham where Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum has the definitive Arts & Crafts Movement collection in the UK. Please note that Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum is now closed for an exciting new development, and will reopen in 2013.

From the 1920s close links were forged between the local designers, artists and makers and the Art Gallery & Museum. Exhibitions of work were held regularly in Cheltenham, Painswick and Chipping Campden. In 1951 a major exhibition of Cotswold Craftsmanship was organised by the Art Gallery and Museum as part of the Festival of Britain.

Arts and Crafts work was acquired by Cheltenham from the 1930s. Featured designers include Gimson and the Barnsleys, and C R Ashbee and the Guild of Handicraft. Since the 1970s the collection has been developed to give a national overview including pieces by William Morris, CFA Voysey, M H Baillie Scott, A Romney Green, Eric Gill and Archibald Knox. Also represented are Arts & Crafts designs aimed at the popular market by Liberty`s, Heal and Son and other manufacturers.

Cheltenham received Designated Museum status in 1998 in recognition of the national significance of its Arts and Crafts Movement collections. In 2002, Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum launched the Art & Crafts Movement website www.artsandcraftsmuseum.org.uk which was updated in 2011.

Contact Details
Clarence Street
Cheltenham
Gloucestershire
GL50 3JT
(Click on postcode to view map)

Tel: 01242 237431
www.artsandcraftsmuseum.org.uk

Chipping Campden

This tour starts in the north, at Chipping Campden with its rich legacy of the work the Arts & Crafts architect C R Ashbee and the members of the Guild of Handicraft. The Guild had a worldwide influence as deep as that of Morris & Company, providing a model of communal living, profit sharing and joyous labour, an inspiration on both sides of the Atlantic. Among the many surviving buildings is Elm Tree House which Ashbee converted into Campden School of Arts & Crafts in 1904. The Ashbees lived in Woolstapler’s Hall on the High Street from 1902-11.

Since 2007 Court Barn Museum, housed in a converted barn in Church Street near St. James Church, has been celebrating the skill and imagination of artists and designers, architects and craftspeople who have worked in Chipping Campden and the surrounding villages of the north Cotswolds. Our story begins with the Arts and Crafts movement in the early twentieth century and continues to the present day.

The Guild workshops were in the old Silk Mill in Sheep Street; David Hart, whose grandfather George Hart was one of Ashbee’s silversmiths, runs Hart Silversmiths on the first floor of the building and welcomes visitors.

Visitors interested in contemporary design should also visit the Robert Welch shop on the corner of the High Street and Sheep Street. Robert Welch was one of Britain`s leading 20th-century designers of cutlery, metalwork and industrial products and the business continues to promote hand and machine work designed by Robert Welch and his son William.

Contact Details
Off the A44 (Broadway Road)
Gloucestershire
GL55
(Click on postcode to view map)

www.hartsilversmiths.co.uk
www.courtbarn.org.uk
www.welch.co.uk

Broadway

In nearby Broadway another designer, Gordon Russell, established a workshop and showrooms adjoining The Lygon Arms. This former coaching inn dating back to 1620, it was taken over by, Gordon’s father, S.B. Russell in 1904. The architect CE Bateman added The Great Hall as a new dining room with plasterwork by the Birmingham Guild.

In 2008 the Gordon Russell Museum opened in the original Grade II listed workshop, celebrating the work of Gordon Russell and that of his Company over a period of sixty years in Broadway.

Contact Details
Broadway
Worcestershire
WR12
(Click on postcode to view map)

www.gordonrussellmuseum.org

Painswick

South of Cheltenham is Painswick with a number of Arts & Crafts buildings. The Congregational Church in Gloucester Street has a window by Morris & Company. The Gyde Almshouses in Gloucester Road were designed by Sidney Barnsley in 1913, as were the Public Baths in St Mary's Street.

The Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen has a permanent showroom in the Painswick Centre and a major exhibition every August, which shows the variety and excellence of their workmanship.

Contact Details

Painswick
Gloucestershire
GL6 6
(Click on postcode to view map)

www.guildcrafts.org.uk

Sapperton

At Sapperton, there are several buildings designed by Arts & Crafts architects, Ernest Gimson, Ernest and Sidney Barnsley and Norman Jewson.

Below the church are Upper Dorval House by Ernest Barnsley, Beechanger by Sidney Barnsley, and The Leasowes by Ernest Gimson. Ernest Barnsley also built the Village Hall in 1913 with assistance from Norman Jewson.

Gimson and the Barnsleys are buried in the churchyard as is Emery Walker, printer, friend of William Morris and co-founder of the Doves Press.

Contact Details
Sapperton
Gloucestershire
GL7 6
(Click on postcode to view map)

Rodmarton Manor

`The English Arts and Crafts Movement at its best is here` (C R Ashbee 1914). Rodmarton Manor was one of the last country houses to be built and furnished by Ernest Barnsley and Cotswold craftsmen from 1909. It contains furniture made specially for the house to a very high standard by Sidney Barnsley, Edward Barnsley, Peter Waals, Harry Davoll, Owen Scrubey, Oliver Morel and others including the Rodmarton workshops. You can see pottery and furniture painted by Alfred and Louise Powell, applique wall hangings designed by Hilda Benjamin (Sexton), leadwork and brass designed by Norman Jewson, and ironwork by Fred and Frank Baldwin and Alfred Bucknell.

The eight-acre garden was created at the same time and comprises a series of outdoor rooms with areas of great beauty and character. The layout is still the same now as it was originally with hedges and stone troughs forming the walls of the `rooms`. Each `room` has a different character. There is a troughery with alpines and a rockery also with alpines, lots of topiary , lawns, a large kitchen garden, and magnificent herbaceous borders and many roses. In February you can see a fine collection of snowdrops.

2004 house opening dates and times: Wednesdays, Saturdays and bank holidays until the end of August, 2.00-5.00pm.

Contact Details
Rodmarton Manor
near Cirencester
Gloucestershire
GL7 6PF
(Click on postcode to view map)

Tel: 01285 841253
www.rodmarton-manor.co.uk

Owlpen Manor

To the west of Stroud is Owlpen Manor, dating from the 15th century with a magnificent Tudor Great Hall, Jacobean wing and Georgian parlour.

The manor house was repaired by the outstanding Cotswold Arts & Crafts architect Norman Jewson in 1926, after it had become something of a Sleeping Beauty, dwarfed behind enormous yews and uninhabited for over 100 years.

On view is a collection of Cotswold Arts & Crafts furniture and associated items by Sidney Barnsley, Norman Jewson and Ernest Gimson, among others.

Contact Details
Owlpen
Dursley
Gloucestershire
GL11 5BZ
(Click on postcode to view map)

Tel: 01453 860261
www.owlpen.com

Kelmscott Manor

A tour of the Cotswolds would not be complete without a visit to Kelmscott Manor at the eastern end of the Cotswolds on the way to Oxford.

William Morris chose it as his summer home, signing a joint lease with the Pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti in the summer of 1871. Morris loved the house as a work of true craftsmanship, totally unspoilt and unaltered, and in harmony with the village and the surrounding countryside. He considered it so natural in its setting as to be almost organic, it looked to him as if it had 'grown up out of the soil'; and with 'quaint garrets amongst great timbers of the roof where of old times the tillers and herdsmen slept'.

Kelmscott Manor is owned and managed by the Society of Antiquaries.

Contact Details
Kelmscott
Lechlade
Gloucestershire
GL7 3HJ
(Click on postcode to view map)

Tel: 01367 252486
www.kelmscottmanor.co.uk

Emery Walker AD 1