...where Vonnie once loved Derek,
where artists and craftsmen lived and worked together,
and where buildings are made out of Crunchy bars (according to Mr N).
We've been visiting the Cotswolds, of course, where we stayed on the remote and beautiful Snowshill Hill Estate at a farmhouse B&B. (Click on the link to find out more.)
The estate, with its farmhouses, cottages, barns and duck ponds, looks as if it dates from the 1700s but in fact it was the dream of farmer John Bourne who, in the early 1930s, built homes and roads, planted 200,000 trees and set up a traditional farming community here with the same kind of idealistic fervour as others who came to this area to live an artistic and idyllic life.
In the early 20th century Charles Robert Ashbee moved to Chipping Campden bringing with him his Guild and School of Handicraft, from London's East End. The Guild specialized in metal-working and produced jewellery and enamels, copper and iron-work, craftsman-made furniture and illustrated books. Here is an enamel and copper memorial plaque in Campden's parish church of St James.
The town has a small museum dedicated to the Guild, containing fine examples of the work of its artists.
The Guild's success here was short-lived, possibly because the market for its hand-made objects in the Campden area was limited, and it was liquidated in 1907. However individual artists remain there to this day and the craft tradition is strong. The front cover of the museum's booklet bears a picture of a pendant made by my favourite jewellery designers, Arthur and Georgie Gaskin (Please take note Mr N!), who retired to Chipping Campden in the 1920s.
Arthur Gaskin was not only a jewellery designer, he had produced woodcuts for William Morris's Kelmscott Press in the 1890s - so, always eager to follow our noses and our hearts, the next day found us at Morris's country retreat, Kelmscott Manor near Lechlade-On-Thames.
Although Morris did not found an artistic community he was at the heart of the Arts and Crafts movement, influencing craft, design and architecture. He also founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, and could be described as an early environmentalist.
Later that day we wandered round Snowshill Manor, just up the road from our B&B, once the home of eccentric and childlike Charles Paget Wade, also an artist and architect of considerable talent - and a bit of a loner...
C.P.Wade, courtesy of Wikipedia.
..."Who do you identify with most, Morris or Wade?" I asked Mr N. He cast his greedy eyes around this huge Cabinet of Curiosities, a giant's toy box where every corner glimmered and glinted with intriguing treasures.
"Personally, I feel that Paget Wade has been cruelly misrepresented and portrayed as being far more of an odd-ball than he actually was, probably in order to attract more visitors to this National Trust property"
Then he turned and disappeared...into Seventh Heaven.