Leicester Decorative and Fine Arts Society

A member of the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies

Breaking and latest news

This page has the latest news - please keep coming back to check for the latest information and click on the ‘refresh’ button to update your computers information.

Click on the links below to go those sections quickly, or scroll down the page to see everything.....

The Art and Architecture of Ireland and The Irish Country House Study Day  16 October

Glasgow School of Art - A Request for Help Following the Recent Fire

Church Trails      Mary de Castro church trail has had to be postponed.

National Trust bid to save Stoneywell, the Gimson House in Leicestershire

Gallery Exhibitions throughout the county in 2014

Link to the Victorian Society's Leicester web site

The Art and Architecture of Ireland and The Irish Country House

A Study Day with Tom Duncan    16 October 2014   Organised by the Grantham DFAS.

Click here for details, price and booking form.

Glasgow School of Art Fire - A request for Help

One of our members, Douglas Smith, donated 4 decades, 84 volumes from 1961 to 2002, of ‘Architectural Review’ to the Glasgow School of Art library recently. - And delivered them himself!

Church Trails

Several NADFAS groups in the East Midlands are creating Church Trails, aimed at children, to encourage them to explore the art and architecture of Churches.  Trails that are completed can be downloaded (questions and answers) by clicking here

Take the grandchildren out to explore!  New Trails being added as they are finished.

There is one which has been created for the Mary de Castro church in Leicester, unfortunately because of the problems with the spire this has had to be postponed.

National Trust has acquired Stoneywell - the Gimson house in Leicestershire

Still no news on Stoneywell, although the National Trust have got planning permission for the car park (which is a big step).  Lets keep our fingers crossed!

Quote from the National Trust web site:-

We have been offered Stoneywell, an Arts & Crafts cottage designed in 1899 by Ernest Gimson, one of the most inspiring and influential architect-designers of the British Arts and Crafts Movement.

Gimson’s drawing of Stoneywell

July 1898

Why save Stoneywell?

Set in the Charnwood Forest, Stoneywell is the only remaining cottage of its kind in Leicestershire. It’s one of only a handful of notable Arts and Crafts houses in England. It will also be only the second place we have in the county.

As well as the cottage, gardens, outbuildings and woodland, Stoneywell retains many of its original contents. There is also a significant archive which has a wealth of historical material.

Plans are being made to open the house shortly - keep looking to find out the latest news!.

The history of Stoneywell

Stoneywell, a Grade II* listed property, was designed in 1898 by the locally-born architect, designer and craftsman Ernest Gimson (1864-1919). Gimson was a well-known contributor to the Arts & Crafts Movement in England in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with many connections to other key members of the movement including William Morris.

Gimson designed the cottage for his elder brother Sydney and wife Jeanie, and Stoneywell has remained within the family ever since.

The Gimson family

Ernest Gimson’s father, Josiah and his brother Benjamin, were also significant figures in Leicester during the 19th century when they set up the Gimson and Company factory in the city, making heavy machinery.

It was one of the largest employers in the city and prided itself on being a model employer in terms of wages and conditions of work. The firm cast the great beam engines which can still be seen at the Abbey Pumping Station and cast two bridges over the Grand Union Canal in Leicester.

Some more information on Stoneywell & Gimson

Below is an article written for us by a member, Douglas Smith, who used to live in a Gimson house in Leicester.

Ernest Gimson 1864-1919

He was born in Leicester, the son of Josiah Gimson of the successful engineering firm.

Early influences were Letherby, Ruskin and William Morris from lecturers at the Secular Society.

Gimson was articled to Isaac Barradale the local architect before he moved to London and was articled to J D Sedding in 1885.  In 1887 he travelled to France and Italy but returned to England and worked on modest projects.

White House. North Avenue. Leicester; 1897 Ernest Gimson designed for his brother Arthur is the best example of the two town houses.

It has an ‘L shaped Plan with the end gable ploughing into the Avenue like the bow of a ship.

Stoneywell 1898 was built for Sidney A. Gimson Ernest Gimson. It is in my opinion the outstanding design of the cottages built in the Charnwood Forest.

The great chimney is like a buttress and develops from the rocky outcrop as it grows out of the forest rock. The plan twists to follow the contours of the site. This is the fascination of the building with changing levels and interesting movement of space. Originally the cottage has a thatched roof which enabled the designer to use the fluid lines evolved from the plan.

Gimson had too much respect for the past to to attempt to reproduce it. He believed each generation could and should make a contribution to a splendid tradition

A plan of the ground floor of Stoneywell.  The plan relates to the photograph and sorry the words are upside down.

Why not write an article for the e-newsletter and the web site?  Contact Janet Groome on 0116 279 2280 with any questions.

Films about NADFAS

LeicesterDFAS Young Arts film about their work

There are now several films about NADFAS in YouTube  Click here to views these short and informative films about different aspects of the organisation.

LeicesterDFAS podcast on our Young Arts group!

To see film please click on the film icon here............................

(it may take a few minutes to download if you have a slow connection

Click here for another way to see the film about the group - there are two other podcasts, well worth looking at

Web site designed and maintained by Janet Groome, Handshake Computer Training