Saturday 7 July 2012

Open Studio and Curwen fire

Good news first. Today was my first open studio day with some lovely visitors. Feeling tired but in a good way! Just in case anyone reading this happens to be near sleepy Steeple Morden, this is the info:
Anna Pye
Cambridge Open Studios 2012
July 7th and 8th, 14th and 15th, 21st and 22nd
The Walnut House  
3 Station Road Steeple Morden  
Royston   Herts   SG8 0NN
All welcome to browse original prints, water colours, cards, notebooks and handmade books.

Now the bad news. A couple of weeks ago there was a devastating fire (arson) at Chilford Hall where the print study centre is. The conference centre, based around a massive medieval barn, has completely gone. My print group were there a few days later and it was a shocking sight and very upsetting, with a sad, subdued feeling around, understandably.

Luckily the house and offices remain, and the print study centre where we print, which is so close to this scene. Just looking at the photos again is very sad.

The whole place was full of sculptures and quirky architectural features, collected by the family over many years. It's poignant that a lion in the end wall of this building has survived. There are 2 magnificent stone lions on the approach to Chilford Hall, here is one of them.

There are many sculptures in the grounds, 2 more lions....

and this wall sculpture (there is also a vineyard on the site), which has also survived. Demolition was starting last Monday, so when we go next week it will look very bleak.


  1. Anna, what a tragedy. I just fail to understand why someone needs to destroy lovely places like this by fire. I hope there are clues to the culprit and that they will be found and brought to account for sheer wanton destruction. It's bound to have an effect on the site but it is cheering that you've had a good start to your open studios. I am on holiday next week but sleepy Steeple Morden is a tad too far but I wish you lots of visitors , sales and fine weather (for us both!)

  2. How awful to lose such a beautiful building, and the contents as well. These irreplaceable things are so vulnerable to human vandalism. Glad to hear your open studio first day went well, hope the rest are good too


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