St Margaret’s Church, Bodelwyddan

St Margaret's Church, Bodelwyddan

St Margaret’s Church, Bodelwyddan

Date

26 May 2014
Location

Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire

SJ 00409 75476; 53.26688°N, 3.49467°W

Information

Church in Wales’ St Margaret’s Church, also known as the ‘Marble Church’, was designed by architect John Gibson and was constructed from 1856 to 1860. The project cost £60,000 and was funded by Margaret, daughter of Sir John Williams of Bodelwyddan Castle, in memory of her husband, Warwickshire baron Lord Willoughby de Broke, who died in 1852. The church was built in local limestone and its interior features pillars and flooring of various types of marble from several different countries.

In the church’s cemetery there are 116 military graves: 33 British and 83 Canadian. The Canadian service personnel buried there were from the nearby Kinmel Park Camp and most of those perished in the 1918/19 Spanish flu pandemic. Four graves, however, belong to soldiers killed in a two-day riot that broke out in March 1919. According to official figures, five people lost their lives in the uprising, although it is suspected that many more may have been killed. Around 17,000 Canadian troops were stationed at the transit camp for many months following the end of World War I. Poor conditions and the long delays led to growing unrest amongst the ranks, with the revolt being sparked when it came to light that ships that had been reserved to transport the troops back home to Canada were being used for other purposes.

Further Reading

Marble Church, Bodelwyddan (Wikipedia);
90 year mystery of soldier riots (BBC News)

 

SEE MORE →

Beastly Machines, Johnny White

'Shopping Centaur', Johnny White

Shopping Centaur, Johnny White

Date

29 September 2013
Location

Bodelwyddan Castle, Denbighshire

SH 99937 74871; 53.26136°N, 3.50156°W

Information

On show at Bodelwyddan Castle from 21 September to 17 November 2013, Beastly Machines is an exhibition of kinetic sculptures by Derbyshire-based artist Johnny White. White has specialised in kinetic works since 1988 and constructs them mainly from found and scavenged materials. His light-hearted artworks, animated using electronics, mechanics and pneumatics, also have a serious side as they serve to illustrate certain underlying environmental themes.

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE…

Sculpture by John Gibson

Cupid and Butterfly, John Gibson

Cupid and Butterfly, John Gibson

‘There appeared in Rome a boy of twelve years old of the most extraordinary beauty of face and figure, and whilst painters and sculptors were contending for him I also availed myself of so remarkable a model. I considered the idea of a statue of Cupid — this time nude. I represented him caressing a butterfly upon his breast, while with his right hand he is drawing forth an arrow to pierce it. I called it “Love tormenting the Soul.” I spent three months upon the clay model, working almost constantly. I afterwards executed it in marble for Lord Selsey, and repeated it subsequently for Mr. Yates of Liverpool, and for Mr. Holford. I look upon this statue as one of my best works.’

 — Life of John Gibson, Lady Elizabeth Rigby Eastlake, 1870.

Date

29 September 2013
Location

Bodelwyddan Castle, Denbighshire

SH 99937 74871; 53.26136°N, 3.50156°W

Information

John Gibson (1790 – 1866) was a neoclassical sculptor who spent most of his life in Rome. Son of a market gardener, Gibson was born near Conwy in Wales and at age 9 his family settled in Liverpool — but for the intervention of his mother the family would have emigrated from there to America. At age 14 he was apprenticed to a cabinet maker and managed to move into decorative wood carving. He later became dissatisfied with this though and, by going on strike, managed to secure a transfer to a marble works. After completing his apprenticeship there, he moved in 1817 first to London and thence to Rome, where he trained under Antonio Canova and Bertel Thorvaldsen. Gibson established his own studio in 1821 and became a full member of the Royal Academy in 1838.

John Gibson (Wikipedia)

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE…

Bodelwyddan Castle

Bodelwyddan Castle

Bodelwyddan Castle

Date

31 August 2013
Location

Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire

SH 99937 74871; 53.26136°N, 3.50156°W

Information

Bodelwyddan Castle dates back to the 15th century when the Humphreys family of Anglesey built a manor house there. The estate was later bought by Sir William Williams, Speaker of the House of Commons 1680-81. The castle was rebuilt in the 19th century and the Williams family moved out in the 1890s, after which it was occupied by a number of tenants.

The castle served as a recuperation hospital during World War I and soldiers from the nearby Kinmel Camp were trained in the techniques of trench warfare in its grounds. The traces of practice trenches can still be seen today — these were preserved as that area of the castle’s 260 acres of parkland was used as a golf course when it was owned by Lowther College. This private girls’ school, established in 1896 in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, moved to Bodelwyddan Castle in 1920, first as tenants and then buying the property in 1925. The school closed in 1982, having run into financial difficulties.

The castle was subsequently purchased by the then Clwyd County Council, who in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Royal Academy of Art developed the site as a visitor centre housing art works and furniture from national collections.

In 1994 part of the castle was leased to the Rank Organisation to develop its first Warner Holidays hotel, a three-star establishment with 186 rooms. At the same time, control of the Williams Hall part of the property was handed over to Bodelwyddan Castle Trust, an independent body supported by an annual grant from Denbighshire County Council.

Bodelwyddan Castle (Wikipedia);
Bodelwyddan Castle (official web site)

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE…