Studio: international art — 6.1896

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Bidford as a Sketching Ground

Ince. Here the difficulties which hamper the a good deal, and he himself is writ large in more
modern architect have to some extent been over- senses than one throughout this neighbourhood,
come, these houses charming us by the recognition but all the same I intend, as far as possible, to
of the limitations imposed by modern conditions, keep him out of this letter.

They also symbolise the revolt of the modern Bidford is a capital centre for the painter to
architect against the perpetuation of the idea that work from. Its old hostelry, " The Falcon,"
a living architecture is not again possible. The where the drinking contests took place, is well
feelings and emotions of to-day expressed in its
literature through the medium of its greatest men,
find the parallel in this architecture that embodies
what I have termed the possibilities of the present.


My dear H.,—Now that the Thames,
in both upper and lower reaches, has become
almost as calm and peaceful as the Strand and
Piccadilly, it behoves those of us to whom quiet
is an essential in rest and recruiting, to go a bit
further afield if we must have a river in our pro-
gramme, and, as a happy sketching ground is with
me a sine qua non, behold me, or consider you
behold me, established here at Bidford-on-Avon,
in Warwickshire, a few miles below Stratford, and
a few miles above Evesham. " Drunken Bidford,"
as Shakespeare did, or did not, call it, is now a
respectable old-fashioned village that makes no
apparent effort to live up to its reputation. After you

have been here a while you are apt to get just a situated near the top of the long straggling street
little bit weary of the genius loci and to pine for that constitutes the village, and is a fine old place
the sweet and placid serenity and blissful ignorance with mullioned windows of white stone, much out
of a young lady of Rugby, in the bard's own of repair, and is now only partly inhabited. Until
county, who was once heard to remark when the recently it boasted a glorious old courtyard, but
poet's name was mentioned : " Shakespeare, oh this has been invaded by utility in the shape of
yes ! he wrote something, didn't he ?" Pie wrote out-buildings, and its glory has vanished. The

bridge over the Avon is
-^-f^really interesting. The

date °f ^ts building is un-

^^S^^T^^^^^ ' 't^S^^^^^^^^^^s. known, but there is docu-

^^^^^^^^■if^^f^L'^^S^^^W^^^^^^^K mentary evidence that it

^^^^^^^^^^i^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Wv was repaired by the monks

s^^^ of Alcester in the fifteenth

<^?l_!2l_^'*~^- -^7?%* ' '^f^J. ^='"^/^^^^W>^^^^^v^^^\ century, and it occupies

£r the place of a ford on the
old Roman road which
crosses the river here. At
eventide it is the rendezvous
of the local clubmen, in fact
in summer time it is their
club, and a stone in the
parapet near the inn, worn
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