Hope, Sir William H.St.John
Cowdray and Easebourne Priory in the county of Sussex.
London, Country Life 1919.
Folio. xiv + 144pp, mounted colour frontispiece, 53 plates (including many collotype photo plates, also folding plans). Publisher’s quarter vellum, slightly bumped at head of spine and the cloth sides of the binding a little soiled. A tear to outer blank margin of pp 13-14 caused by careless cutting with a paper knife by a previous owner, but otherwise in very good, clean internal condition. One of 400 numbered copies only.
An excellent and well-illustrated monograph devoted to Cowdray House, the great ruined Tudor mansion near Midhurst, Sussex, built in the middle of the sixteenth century and gutted by fire in 1793, and to the adjacent Easebourne Priory, one of the few mediaeval English nunneries of which there are still significant remains. The book was commissioned from Sir William St.John Hope, the foremost authority of his time on English mediaeval architecture, by Weetman Pearson, 1st Viscount Cowdray, millionaire businessman and Liberal Party politician, who had purchased the Cowdray estate in 1908 and who had had the ruins excavated and consolidated under the supervision of the architect Sir Aston Webb (contributor of the volume’s preface).