As part of the project to celebrate 250 years since the
birth of James Ward RA, local artists have been creating artworks inspired by
Ward’s work, in particular the collection held here at Lowewood.
The first of these, Mannamead Art Group’s work, will be displayed until Saturday 7 December. This local group meets in Hoddesdon once a week and welcomes all from beginners to experienced artists. Thirteen artists from this group are displaying their works, mainly drawing inspiration from James Ward’s animal paintings. The paintings include horses and farm animals to one or two landscape drawings. A total of eighteen artworks in a variety of mediums, from watercolours to pencil drawings are being displayed.
Come and have a look at these local artists’ works, displayed alongside our exhibition on James Ward. The museum is open Wednesday – Friday 10am – 4pm and Saturdays 10am – 5pm. Admission is free.
This project is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
This year marks the 250th anniversary of the
birth of local artist James Ward RA. To celebrate, the museum has opened an
exhibition highlighting his life and work, with loans from the Tate and
Fitzwilliam Museum. The exhibition opened on 21 September 2019 and is on
display until 25 January 2020.
Ward was born on 23 October 1769 in London, the son of a
greengrocer and cider merchant. He left school at a young age, before he could
read or write and at the age of nine was the only wage earner in his family,
washing bottles for 4 shillings a week.
Drawing came naturally to Ward, and by the age of 12 he was
an apprentice mezzotint engraver to one of the best, John Raphael Smith. He was
later appointed the painter and mezzotint engraver to the Prince of Wales. Ward
chose to pursue his painting career, aspiring to be appointed as a member of
the Royal Academy, which he finally achieved in 1811 at the age of 42.
Ward made Cheshunt his home for the last 31 years of his
life. He had loved the countryside ever since he was a boy, it was so different
from the hustle and bustle of London streets. In July 1855 he suffered a stroke that ended his
career and died at Roundcroft Cottage in Cheshunt on 16 November 1859.
On display in the museum is a selection of Ward’s works loaned by the Tate and Fitzwilliam Museum, as well as a sketchbook demonstrating the breadth of his work. These compliment the museum’s own collection of Ward’s work, on display in Lowewood’s James Ward Gallery.
The museum is open Wednesday – Friday 10am – 4pm and Saturday 10am-5pm. Admission is free.
This project is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
St Catherine’s School, Hoddesdon celebrates being open for 200 years this October. Lowewood Museum is looking for past pupils to help remember what school life was like.
If you attended St Catherine’s School, or any of the schools which have joined to form St Catherine’s i.e. St Paul’s Infants School and Haslewood Junior School, please get in touch and share your memories.
Lowewood Museum will be celebrating the 200 year anniversary with an exhibition and are also looking for any objects that you would be able to loan to put on display.
This project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Lowewood Museum’s new exhibition ‘Romance in Stone’, which will run from 14 January to April 29, celebrates the impact of Broxbourne’s landscape design firm James Pulham & Son on national garden fashions from 1845-1939.
Famous for landscaping beautiful rustic waterways, rocky streams, grottoes and tunnels, the company also developed a range of over 200 garden ornaments. They were made from cast stone and terracotta, with the latter made at the firm’s manufactory here in Broxbourne.
Three key James Pulham & Son vases are on display in the exhibition, showcasing the beauty of their designs and the clients they worked for. The firm designed many of their ornaments for a specific client or project, naming the product after the location and adding it to the range that future clients could select from.
The Preston Vase
On loan from Ewell Court House in Surrey is an original Pulham Preston Vase. The firm first created the Preston Vase in 1864 for Miller Park in Preston, to a design created by the Victorian park designer Edward Milner.
In the 1880s Ewell Court’s new owner, John Henry Bridges, built a red-brick house in the ‘Old English’ style, and in the 1890s he re-landscaped the gardens.
James Pulham & Son ‘rockified’ (formed into a rocky landscape) the banks of the stream and created a boating lake with a boathouse, island and cascades. They also created a large fountain with four Preston Vases around its base.
The Westonbirt Vase
Originally designed Pulhams for Westonbirt House in Gloucestershire, the Westonbirt Vase has had a new lease of life in recent times in a replica range manufactured by the cast stone company, Haddonstone Ltd.
James Pulham & Son worked at Westonbirt in Gloucestershire in the 1880s, creating an artificial lake and a clearing with a rockery and grotto where Westonbirt village once stood. Wealthy landowner Robert Stayner Holford had moved the whole village half a mile down the road to improve the view from his new Elizabethan-style palace.
The firm designed the Westonbirt Vase, which they later supplied to Avenham Park in Preston, next door to the Preston Vase-adorned Miller Park.
In 1928, the house became a girls’ boarding school, and the governors asked Haddonstone Ltd to make new copies of the vase by creating a mould from the original. Replicas of the beautiful Westonbirt Vase are now on sale again.
The Nottingham Vase
Another Pulham design which has also been replicated by Haddonstone Ltd is the Nottingham Vase. The firm supplied one of these vases to Leopold de Rothschild for Ascott House in Buckinghamshire. In 1949, the Rothschilds gave the estate to the National Trust, which commissioned the first replica.
It is a testament to the appeal of James Pulham & Son’s work, many made at the Broxbourne manufactory, that their designs are still being bought for gardens today.
Lowewood Museum’s exhibition – ‘Romance in Stone – The Pulham Legacy of Garden Design’ is open from 14 January – 29 April 2017 during normal museum opening hours (Wednesday – Friday, 10am – 4pm and Saturday, 10am – 5pm).
This year sees an exciting project taking place at Lowewood Museum, showcasing the history of the Pulhams of Broxbourne, a company that really put the town on the map. James Pulham & Son set up a manufactory in Broxbourne in 1845 making terracotta and cast stone garden ornaments. From this base the firm expanded into landscape design, creating beautiful artificial landscapes containing rockeries, grottos and water features. The Pulhams are known to have produced work for at least 170 sites around the UK, from public parks and gardens to large private gardens, including Sandringham and Buckingham Palace.
The company was run by four generations of James Pulham. The first James (James 1) was originally apprenticed with his brother, Obadiah, in c.1810 to a master builder in Woodbridge, William Lockwood, where they learnt the skill of stone modelling. The brothers turned out to be highly skilled modellers, and when Lockwood established a London branch, James 1 became the London manager. Following Lockwood’s death, the firm began to trade under the Pulham name. On James 1’s death in 1838 his son James 2 inherited the firm aged just 18 and moved to Amwell Street in Hoddesdon. He was commissioned to produce his first rock garden for Woodlands, and the landscaping side of the business was born. James 2 saw a gap in the market and moved to larger premises on Station Road near Broxbourne station, where he could make an extensive range of ornaments and artificial rocks. He developed his own form of artificial rock known as ‘Pulhamite’ – a rubble core covered over with cement that was painted to look like real rock.
James 2 exhibited at the Great Exhibition in 1851 and the International Exhibition of 1862. In 1865 his son James 3 joined the family business which became known as Pulham & Son. The company received two royal warrants, the first in 1895 for work at Sandringham for HRH The Prince of Wales, the second for work at Buckingham Palace in 1903. They also produced gardens for Chelsea Flower shows during the early 1900s.
The years after the First World War saw a gradual decline in work from large estates and a rise in commissions from local councils looking to ‘beautify’ their parks and seaside resorts. Finally, in 1939 the firm closed at the eve of the Second World War. Pulham house and most of the manufactory site were demolished in 1967 as new flats and a larger car park were built near the station. Today just one brick kiln and the puddling mill remains.
The Pulham project is celebrating this important history and is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It is a joint project between Broxbourne Borough Council’s Lowewood Museum and B3Living. Here at the Museum our Project Exhibitions Officer is developing a touring exhibition showcasing the company’s history, which will be on display from 14 January – 29 April 2017, as well as an events program and online Pulham resources. Keep an eye out on the blog and the website www.broxbourne.gov.uk/lowewood-museum for more information. Our first event is a free stone carving taster workshop on Saturday 20 August.
During 2016 the remaining manufactory buildings will be conserved, and with the help of volunteers B3 Living will also be rejuvenating the surrounding gardens.
Give a brief outline of what you will be working on over the coming year.
I am working on a project celebrating the work of the Pulhams of Broxbourne, key landscape designers of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. I will be developing a touring exhibition and marketing this to potential host venues. The exhibition will launch at Lowewood Museum in January 2017 and be available for tour from May 2017. I will also be organising an event program to accompany the exhibition, and producing interpretation signage on the former Pulham factory site, the remains of which are being conserved as part of the project. The whole project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and is being delivered in partnership with Broxbourne Borough Council and B3Living.
What is your favourite thing about working in Museums?
That moment when a visitor discovers a famous, personal or local history link to a museum object that makes them go ‘oh wow’. Inspiring and enthusing people of all ages with the collections and the areas of history covered by a museum is the most rewarding part of the job. Plus the chance to get involved in lots of different activities, get dressed up in historical costumes for events, and generally have fun all in the name of the job!
Share one piece of advice for those interested in working in the Museum field.
Think outside the box. The role and work of museums is constantly changing, so be flexible and don’t be afraid to put forward your ideas, whether you are volunteering or at a job interview!
Which historical figure would you like to meet and why. What would you ask them?
John Ray, the 17th Century father of natural history, who worked out the first scientific definition of a species and catalogued thousands of plants, animals, birds, fish, reptiles and insects during his life. The sheer scale of his works amazes me. He also wrote very advanced papers for the 17th Century on adaptation and the origins of fossils. However, sadly he is not that well known despite his ground-breaking contributions. He lived in my former home village of Black Notley in Essex so I guess I would probably ask him – ‘What was it really like to live in Black Notley in the 1690s?’
Where would you choose to go/visit if you could go anywhere in the world for a day?
New Zealand to see the Lord of the Rings sets
What was the first music track or album you bought?
Ronan Keating’s album Ronan
Opening on Saturday 10 October, ‘School’s Out’ gathers together memories and objects from the Borough’s schools history. Curated by Lowewood Museum’s Youth Panel, this special exhibition has something for everyone to enjoy.
Below is a gallery of images from Lowewood Museum’s photographic collection of schools through history.
BROXBOURNE SCHOOL FOOTBALL TEAM 1909-1910
AERIAL VIEW HAILEYBURY COLEGE 1928
BROXBOURNE SCHOOL 1906
BROXBOURNE BOYS SCHOOL MASTERS HOUSE 1890
AERIAL VIEW HAILEYBURY COLLEGE 1960
JOHN WARNER SCHOOL HODDESDON 1952
BROXBOURNE SCHOOL 1959
HODDESDON AERIAL JOHN WARNER SCHOOL
AERIAL VIEW BROXBOURNE SCHOOL
AERIAL VIEW BROXBOURNE SCHOOL
DOMESTIC SCIENCE ROOM AT BROXBOURNE SCHOOL
DEWHURST SCHOOL CLASS 1928
TURNFORD INFANT SCHOOL 1950-60s
TURNFORD INFANT SCHOOL 1950-60s
TURNFORD INFANT SCHOOL 1950-60s (3)
TURNFORD INFANTS SCHOOL 1950-60s
EXTERIOR OF BROXBOURNE SCHOOL
BROXBOURNE SCHOOL POSED GROUP TEACHERS & PUPILS 1940s
CHESHUNT GRAMMAR SCHOOL SCIENCE BLOCK 1956
BROXBOURNE SCHOOL OPENING NEW 6TH FORM BLOCK 1983
JOHN WARNER SCHOOL PRIZE DAY 1983
JOHN WARNER SCHOOL BOYS BRIGADE 2000
JOHN WARNER SCH GIRLS CRICKET 2000
JOHN WARNER SCHOOL TECHNOLGY DAY 2000
JOHN WARNER SCH DUKE EDINBURGH AWARDS 1991
PRINCESS ROYAL OPENS JOHN WARNER SPORTS CENTRE 9 SEPT 2002