Tag Archives: painting

Mysterious painting

(c) Elwin J. Hawthorn; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
UPDATE: See the bottom of this post – the mystery appears to be solved.
Alan writes:

I am trying to trace the location of a painting of “Church near Blackheath“, painted by Elwin Hawthorne and I was wondering if you might be able to help identify the location? His notes for the picture say:- “Vanbrugh Park from the Standard public house”. Looking at Streetview, I wonder whether there was a church on the site of what is now Blackheath High School, Senior School? Possibly the church was destroyed during the war.

Below is where I think he’s referring to on Google Street View, but the outline of the building looks different to me. Any ideas?

UPDATE:
Alan has been sent a photograph of the scene by the artist’s son (also called Elwin Hawthorne). It is his Father’s photograph of the scene from which he painted his picture, hence the “squaring up” lines across the image.

Photo Church near Blackheath

Elwin was one of a group of artists known as the East London Group – see Alan’s website here.

Alan writes:

With a bit of help from a “local”, Nick Sack, I think we may have identified the site of the church on Vanbrugh Park; it looks as if it is on the site of what is now the Blackheath Senior School which used to be the Church Army Chapel. I have attached two screenshots from Streetview which show the road outside the School and, in that image, you can just make out the presence of a redbrick house behind the trees on the right; in the other shot, you will see a shot of the building frontage which is extremely similar to that represented in the painting, although it now appears as if one half of what was most likely a double fronted building has disappeared, along with the church next door! It would be fascinating to find out a bit more about the history of the area; whether it was hit during the war and, if so, what effect did it have in the area? I think that what we need now is an identification of the actual church’s name and the history that goes with the area!

The streetview shots he mentions are the same as the location shown in the initial post above.

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Piggybanks and Edvard Munch

The never-much-good branch of Nationwide in Blackheath village is closing. More on 853blog here.

And an excellent Scream-inspired painting of Blackheath station. Sums up just about how I feel when I’m waiting there sometimes…

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In other news…


Kevin (you know who, don’t make me say the moniker) seems to have taken up oil painting. A strange blue landscape is being painted on the step next to Shepherds Food.
Kevin painting a landscape in oils, closeup

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A Windmill on Blackheath

A Windmill on Blackheath painting by J.M.W. Turner in the Tate Collection

The excellent blog Transpontine has a post about Turner‘s London paintings. It also linked to this painting, shown above, of “View on Lewisham Hill, Looking Up towards a Windmill on Blackheath 1796-7”.

It also shows how completely rural the area was back then! I always find it hard to imagine.

UPDATE: A different kind of windmills were mentioned on this blog a while back.

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Well it doesn’t look like that any more…

The Hare and Billet Pub, Blackheath, old painting

“Near the Hare and Billet Inn” – a section from a painting by Thomas Luny (1759-1837) held in the British Library.  Click here to see the full image.  And a mysterious comment spotted on a message board about a ghost in the Hare and Billet pub:

The Hare and Billet Ghost – a woman in Victorian dress with a bonnet and no face supposedly haunts the bit right outside the pub on Blackheath, just standing there, looking like she’s waiting for a bus. She was supposed to run away with her lover, but hung herself from the elm trees near the pond after realising she’d been jilted. Two of my friends claim to have seen her last November while out jogging, without knowing of her existence. They Googled her and found out the last reported sighting was also in November back in the 70s.

Well, no amount of googling will reveal the Hare and Billet ghost to me!  I’ll just have to head over there, and wait for her to appear.  A few pints should do the trick…

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