The Boyhood of Raleigh is one of the Pre-Raphaelite artist Sir John Millais’ most celebrated works, painted during his stay in Budleigh Salterton in 1870
With the quatercentenary of Sir Walter Raleigh’s death only four years away you could guess that at least one Fairlynch volunteer might be recalling the famous years of 2000 and even 1969. Those two high points in the Museum’s history were reached when Sir John Millais’ celebrated depiction of East Budleigh’s best known personality went on show. To greet the arrival of ‘The Boyhood of Raleigh’ at Fairlynch in July 1969 three members of the US Marine Detachment from its 6th Fleet HQ in London’s Grosvenor Square joined forces with three Royal Marines from Lympstone to stand guard over the painting, a military band played and Tudormania broke out. Visitor numbers at the Museum shot up. For the management of such a small institution as Fairlynch it was an amazing achievement.
‘West Country to World’s End - The South West in the Tudor Age’ is the current exhibition at Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, better known to locals as RAMM. Exhibitions about this period usually focus on London, as pointed out by Prof Sam Smiles in the introduction to the book of the same title accompanying the exhibition. So it’s only right that the West Country should be spotlighted for the rich contribution that it made to the arts and crafts of the English Renaissance.
In Exeter itself Tudor landmarks like the Guildhall, seen above, survived the destruction wrought by German air raids and city planners. They testify to the wealth of the city’s merchants, many of whom were involved in the cloth trade.
Equally associated with the cloth trade and happily another visitor attraction which has survived in today’s Exeter was St Nicholas Priory, pictured above, the home of the wealthy Hurst family between around 1575 and 1602.
The two jewellery shops in Goldsmith Street, just off the city’s High Street, serve as reminders of one of Exeter’s traditional crafts
The 'Exeter Salt' c. 1580
Benvenuto Cellini's extravagant salt cellar
The oak door of No 10 Cathedral Close, Exeter. Image credit Derek Harper
A sketch for the arms and crest granted to John Hawkins, 'Canton geven by Rob[er]t Cooke Clar[enceux] King of Arms 1568'. The bound African slave on the crest reflects the trade that Hawkins pioneered.