Heritage Open Days 1 – Visual Arts
The Heritage Centre volunteers will be joining in England’s largest festival of history and culture in September. All over the country our heritage, community and history will be celebrated through the opening of buildings normally closed to the public and other events. In Longridge, there will be a special display in the old station on Saturday 9th September when artefacts not normally on show will be seen.
The theme of the national event this year is ‘Creativity Unwrapped’. Over the next months we will take a look at some artists, musicians and writers linked with Longridge and its surroundings, starting with visual artists.
Did you know that there is a connection between Alston Lodge in Lower Lane and a world renowned painting? From 1828, John Winstanley lived here with his wife Eliza Isabella McNeill. Eliza’s half-sister Anna was the wife of American George Washington Whistler and the mother of James McNeill Whistler. Anna visited Alston Lodge and stayed there for about 18 months between 1829 and 1831. She again visited in 1843, this time bringing her children including the 9 year old James. Anna made several further visits to her family over the years as she travelled between England and America via the port of Liverpool. In 1871, Anna was living in London with her son James when he painted the picture that would become famously known as ‘Whistler’s Mother’. Now in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, this is one of the most famous works by an American artist outside the United States; and has been variously described as an American icon and a Victorian Mona Lisa.
On a more modern note, the mezzanine galleries in St Lawrence Church are home to ten pairs of stained glass windows designed by world renowned Oldham-born architectural artist Brian Clarke. This 1975 commission is considered to be the first work of his maturity (he was 22) and reflects the influence of Japanese screen painting in its semi-abstract depiction of local scenes and features in shades of green and blue.
Our corridor display through June and July will be on ‘Lancashire Summer’, featuring the seaside, summer activities and local festivals and shows.
We are usually open between 10 and 2, Monday to Friday. We sell a selection of cards, books, maps, local photographs and small gifts. Our corridor displays can be seen during Station opening times of 9 to 4, Monday to Saturday.
The Old Station, Berry Lane, Longridge PR3 3JP