‘Thrilling’ discovery of watercolour paintings of Delapre Abbey in 1860s bought by preservation trust

Image supplied by The Delapre Abbey Preservation Trust
Image supplied by The Delapre Abbey Preservation Trust

Two watercolours painted in the 1860s of Delapre Abbey in Northampton have been discovered in a London gallery.

The paintings were contained in an album belonging to amateur artist, Caroline Vernon, who recorded her visits to country homes during Queen Victoria’s reign with watercolours and sketches.

Image supplied by The Delapre Abbey Preservation Trust

Image supplied by The Delapre Abbey Preservation Trust

Delapre Abbey Preservation Trust community engagement officer, Vikki Pearson, said: “A visit to the London gallery that held the two albums led to the discovery of two watercolour paintings created when she visited Delapre in 1863.

“One shows the west front of the Abbey and another shows a view of the library which had been built in the early 1800s by the Bouverie family.

“This is particularly exciting as it is one of the few images we have for the interior of the abbey at that time,” she said.

Chairman of the trust, Rod Giddins, said: “This is a thrilling discovery that is an exciting part of our journey to bring the history of the Abbey to life – we very much hope to discover further items that we are able to bring home to Delapre and display in the future.”

The Delapre Abbey Preservation Trust has now purchased the two paintings and the intention is to use them to help inform the restoration works and to display them in the Abbey when it opens to the public in the summer of 2016.