Southwold Beach huts basking in the summer sunsine. As the days get longer now it can often be a relaxing experience exploring Souhwold or Walberswick beach in the early evening (and possibly renting a Beach Hut to fully explore this potential!).

Artists Inspired by the Blyth Estuary

menu
Artists Inspired by the Blyth Estuary

The Walberswick Enigma - Artists Inspired by the Blyth Estuary

Walberswick and the Blyth Valley have attracted artists for nearly two centuries. The visits of PHILIP WILSON STEER and CHARLES RENNIE MACKINTOSH are now common knowledge, but a great many other major artists worked in the area.

Blythburgh, too, had its artist residents: ERNEST CROFTS RA, SIR JOHN SEYMOUR LUCAS RA, and WILLIAM BENNER all had homes in the village.

In the early nineteenth century CORNELIUS VARLEY and PETER DE WINT, both prominent water-colourists, made studies of Walberswick church, while in the 1860s and 1870s CHARLES KEENE, very highly regarded in his day, produced drawings and etchings of riverside subjects.

The mid–1880s saw a substantial influx of young artists, mainly Paris-trained, who later became very prominent: many had also spent time in the burgeoning artist colonies in Brittany and Cornwall. Perhaps the best–known of the ‘new wave’ was Steer, but other notable visitors of the period included FREDERICK BROWN, Slade Professor for many years; SIR FRANK SHORT, Head of the School of Engraving at the RCA, and the Irish Academicians WALTER OSBORNE, NATHANIEL HILL and AUGUSTUS BURKE.

Blythburgh Society - The History Notes: The Walberswick Enigma. Artists inspired by the Blyth Estuary

Between the wars the arrival of distinguished artists continued unabated. These included Royal Academicians SIR ARNESBY BROWN, SIR GEORGE CLAUSEN, R. O. DUNLOP and BERTRAM PRIESTMAN. More permanently domiciled in the village were W. F. CRITTALL, ALLAN DAVIDSON and TOM VAN OSS.

Since World War 2, artists with homes in Walberswick have included CLIFFORD RUSSELL, ERIC SCOTT, CHRIS and WENDY SINCLAIR, SIDNEY SEYMOUR LUCAS and WILLIAM BOWYER RA, while visitors have included BERNARD DUNSTAN RA, SIR WILLIAM COLDSTREAM and F. W. BALDWIN. These are merely the tip of a huge iceberg - the list seems endless.

The attraction defies clear analysis, but must involve elemental considerations: water, air, light and space, combined with a compellingly haunting atmosphere.

R. R. Scott, Walberswick, October 1995.
Back to the History Index

Back to our Featured Reports

Some Favourite Websites For July 2018:

Southwold Beach Hut Owners AssociationThe online home of the owners of Southwold's iconic beach huts

On this website are details of the Southwold Beach Hut Owners Association group as well as the latest news and information for prospective, new and existing members, owning a tiny slice of our wonderful Suffolk coastline.

Hetty’s Little Copy ShopA wide range of printing services - including 3D - plus passport photos and more

The Little Copy Shop is in Thoroughfare, Halesworth, and offers all sorts of useful services involving printing, laminating, scanning, binding and copying plus various photographic services including passport photos.

Bloom'sComfortable Bed and Breakfast accommodation close to Southwold

B&B accommodation just for one or two, in modern farmhouse on working farm close to Southwold. WiFi. Kingsize bed in room. Exclusive use of private adjacent spacious bathroom with jacuzzi bath. Cycle Route 31 passes farm drive. Sorry, no children or pets accepted.

23 North ParadeLarge sea-front house at Southwold with private parking for up to four cars

With six bedrooms this traditional family house sleeps up to twelve plus a cot. Parking for four cars. Panoramic sea views from the front of the house, including from the first floor sitting room. Back garden with barbecue. WiFi. Up to two dogs accepted for extra charge.

Lamorna CottageAffordable three-bedroomed self-catering cottage in Reydon near Southwold

An end-terrace cottage offering accommodation for up to five in quiet residential street. Garden plus shed for cycles. Close to village shops. 15 minutes walk to the sea. Open fire in Living Room. Radio, board games, puzzles and books but no TV. Sorry, no pets.