Wainwright's Welsh sketches up for auction PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Walsh   
Saturday, 06 February 2021

wainwrights welsh church.pngAlfred Wainwright is best known for his pictorial guides to the Lakeland Fells, but he also drew and sketched in Wales.

Two of his views of Welsh churches are among four drawings being offered for sale by a south Cumbrian auction house.

Valuer David Brookes of 1818 Auctioneers in Crooklands estimates drawings of the two churches could make between £300 and £400 apiece.

Two signed ink drawings from the Lake District of Great Carrs and The Duddon could each sell for as much as £800.

The two Welsh scenes have been entered into the auction by Jenny Dereham, Wainwright’s publisher during the last ten years of his life.

Brookes said: “Wainwright produced three books of Welsh drawings.

“Up for auction is a drawing of Llaneilian Church on Anglesey, with its famous pyramidal spire, which appeared in The North Wales Sketchbook. The other is a drawing of St Govan’s Chapel, perched on the cliffs of St Govan’s Head in Pembrokeshire, from The South Wales Sketchbook.

“Jenny Dereham was a good friend of Alfred and Betty Wainwright. She first met Wainwright after writing to ask if he would collaborate on a book with well known photographer Derry Brabbs. It led to a bestselling series of eight large-format books.

“When Wainwright died, Betty invited Jenny to choose some drawings. Having a little Welsh blood, of which she’s proud, Jenny chose the two Welsh churches.”

The valuer says the firm has seen a huge increase in interest in Wainwright’s pen-and-ink drawings. wainwright and dereham.png

He said: “Last June we set a record for the price paid for a Wainwright signed drawing when a Lancaster bidder paid £10,200 for a framed sketch of Striding Edge, Helvellyn.


“People want a connection to Wainwright and to share his love of mountains. Wainwright wrote that mountain tops were places to refresh the soul, find new perspectives and banish worries. That’s particularly meaningful right now.

“They were, he says, good friends, always reliable and welcoming and he felt indebted to them. We also expect interest in the lesser known side of his work, the delightful drawings he made of two Welsh churches.”

A Kendal vendor has put the two Lakeland sketches up for sale.

The sketches are part of an online timed auction run by Crooklands-based 1818 Auctioneers, which ends on 21 February. Details are on the auction house’s website.

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