Between 1780 and 1791 (excluding 1786) Grimm spent two weeks from every Whitsun making views in Sussex for the antiquary William Burrell. Almost 900 drawings were bequeathed to the British Library in 1796. A selection of these Sussex views are shown here.
The Great Gatehouse of Battle Abbey (Add. MS 5670, f.38) that dominates the town in East Sussex dates to 1338. The Abbey itself was founded soon after the famous battle of 1066.
St Andrew’s Church in Alfriston (Add. MS 5671, f.62) is known as the ‘Cathedral of the Downs’. It has Saxon origins, and the present building (shown in Grimm’s view) dates to the 14th century.
The late 17th-century Petworth House (Add. MS 5674, f.53) was built by Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset. When Grimm made this view the house, and its ‘Capability’ Brown park, was owned by George Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont, who collected many works of art by his friend, J. M. W. Turner.
Chichester Cathedral (Add. MS 5675, f.63) was founded around 1080. Daniel Defoe commented that ‘the cathedral here is not the finest in England, but is far from being the most ordinary; the spire is a piece of excellent workmanship.’
- Article by:
- John Farrant
William Burrell’s topographical collections at the British Library include 1,300 watercolours of views, antiquities and buildings, a treasure trove for researchers as John Farrant explains.
- Article by:
- Brett Dolman
- Antiquarianism, Country
Over 3000 drawings by Samuel Hieronymus Grimm are housed in the British Library’s Department of Manuscripts: the impressive result of over 20 years touring to record ‘everything curious’ in England. A project funded the antiquary Sir Richard Kaye, Grimm’s drawings capture local history and contemporary life in England in the last decades of the 18th century. Brett Dolman explores.