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(Battle Abbey)

Views of Battle Abbey (title taken from upper cover).
Battle, F.W.Ticehurst (nd, but after December 1844).
Reference: 14203

Full Description

Folio. (5) litho plates, the last an india-paper proof and dated Dec.1844. Publisher’s blue paper wrappers, neatly rebacked, the upper cover carrying a pictorial gilt title incorporating an image of Battle Abbey’s Refectory. Last plate in volume rather browned and spotted in outer blank margins.
As students of English country house literature will be aware, Battle Abbey, built in the late 11th century close to the site of the battle of Hastings, was suppressed at the Reformation, the abbey church was demolished, and the surviving buildings were converted into a country house owned until 1721 by the Browne family (Viscounts Montague) and then, until the 1850s, by the Webster family. The present set of views, printed and published by F.W.Ticehurst, the enterprising proprietor of Battle’s Post Office, provides a perspective view of the abbey’s surviving late mediaeval gatehouse, a south-west view of the country house created from the converted abbey buildings as it would have appeared in 1637, a view of the house’s east front, a view of the adjacent parish church, and a view of the impressive romanesque font in the parish church, the last an india-paper proof and dated December 1844 in Ticehurst’s lithographic caption. Three of the plates are from drawings by John Vidler, Battle’s local schoolmaster, while the final plate, that of the font, is signed AMM, evidently the initials of another artist. It is apparent from the bibliographic literature that Ticehurst issued several differently made-up series of views of Battle Abbey during the middle years of the nineteenth century, and the present group, of which the first two carry dedications to Lady Charlotte Webster, occupant of the property in the years after the death of her husband Sir Godfrey Webster in 1836, were evidently marketed by him at some date between 1844 and 1857, when the house was sold to the Duke of Cleveland.

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