I haven’t written much about Shrewsbury, Shropshire’s county town, but I have been in the process of a post or three for several months, during which time I have been preparing many photos for the blog. The town contains some very interesting architecture from medieval black and white timber-framed to very elegant and simply styled Georgian properties. (And some 1960s carbuncles, but we won’t talk about them). This distinctive red-brick Victorian built building is along the Town Walls. The Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital opened in 1881. It earned a reputation for its high standard of treatment and during WW1 was a major clearing centre for troops with eye injuries, treating up to 800 soldiers a week. It closed in 1998 and has been turned into flats.
Built in the style of the Arts and Crafts Movement with ornate decorative bricks and tiles/panels, the style placed great value on the work, the joy of craftsmanship and the natural beauty of materials.
Wightwick Manor (pronounced wittick) was built in 1887 for the Manders family who were Wolverhampton paint, varnish and ink manufacturers. The house is designed in the ‘Old English’ style of timber and brick and influenced by the Aesthetic and Arts and Crafts movement.
I can’t begin to imagine how many times I have driven past the sign to Watts Chapel along the A3 near Guildford in Surrey. Not knowing that this little gem lay hidden close by in Down Lane, Compton. Jenny of CharactersFromTheKitchen introduced me to this architectural delight a few months ago and I knew I would have to make the journey next time I was down in Surrey.
(Please click images to enlarge – there is an awful lot of detail in these images)
This morning, before the rain arrived again, I made my way to Watts Cemetery Chapel to the bright red brick of this Arts and Crafts masterpiece. Designed and decorated by Mary Seton Watts this example of Art Nouveau was completed in 1904. She dedicated it:
“to the loving memory of all who find rest near its walls, and for the comfort and help of those to whom the sorrow of separation remains”
Cutting back through the park we arrived at Fairfield and Cook Street Village. Fairfield is a picturesque neighbourhood with tree-lined streets and you can take a self-guided walking tour which describes some of the buildings of interest along the route. Housing styles typical to the area are Edwardian Vernacular Arts & Crafts (1904 – 1914) British Arts & Crafts (1905 – 1930), Foursquare (1900 – 1920) and Californian Bungalow (1900 – 1929). Needless to say this occupied a good deal of our day, though we found time to browse in a couple of second-hand book stores (always a dangerous pastime) and have a bowl of soup in a cute retro American Diner complete with pictures of Betty Boop. Continue reading Victoria IV: Arts and Crafts