It’s Grimm down south

©Burstow & Hewett

Breaking news: we have just managed to purchase this little pen and ink sketch of Scotney Castle, Kent, dated 1783, by Samuel Hieronymous Grimm (1733-1794). We bought it at auction at Burstow & Hewett in Battle, East Sussex.

Emma Slocombe, the curator for Scotney, notes that it is probably a preparatory sketch for the watercolours of Scotney by Grimm which are in the British Library. We are always potentially interested in acquiring pictures that show what our historic properties used to look like.

The only remaining tower of the old castle at Scotney, with the ruins of the other parts of the building. ©NTPL/Stephen Robson

The sketch shows quite a lot of detail, including various buildings which have since disappeared or fallen into ruin. Originally Scotney was a castle with four corner towers, but the building was domesticated through successive alterations in about 1580, 1640 and 1720.

The old castle seen from the new house. ©NTPL/John Miller

In the early nineteenth century the house was abandoned as being too damp and unhealthy. In the 1830s Edward Hussey built a new house on the hill above, while incorporating the ruined castle into his picturesque garden. Other posts on Scotney can be found here.

The hermitage at Selbourne, Hampshire, with Henry White as the hermit, 1777, by Samuel Hieronymus Grimm, at Dunham Massey, Cheshire. Note the 'picturesque' seat made of untreated branches. ©NTPL

There are a few other works by Samuel Hiernonymous Grimm at other National Trust properties. Apart from topographical pictures, he also produced mythological and picturesque scenes.

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