William Simmonds, 1876 - 1968
Catalogue of SketchesThe drawings of the Cotswolds illustrate a wide-ranging interest and great observation of detail.
Kitchen fireplace, Owlpen Manor, June 1926pencil drawing 25 x 35 cm 73/198
Owlpen Manor is a sixteenth century manor house built of local stone. The drawing of the kitchen shows the ceiling rack, as well as the hearth and its fittings.
Village Spring, Frampton Mansell, August 1929pencil drawing 25 x 33 cm 70/318 Frampton Mansell is one of the small villages of the wooded hillsides around Stroud known as the "Golden Valley".
Dutch barn and wagons, The Downs Farm, Frampton Mansell, June 1925pencil drawing 32 x 50 cm 70/317 >From left to right the drawing shows, a partially loaded 4 wheel bow wagon from Rodmarton; a bow wagon, the note pointing out that the body was made by Simmons of Sapperton but the wheels and undercarriage are new; a 2-wheel cart, said to have been 'on Mr. Clark's farm at Avening 40 years'; a wheel, made by Bird of Dursley, a 4-wheel wagon, with a body made by Gardiner of Sapperton and an undercarriage and wheels by the Bristol Carriage and Wagon Works, a wagon made by Bird of Dursley.
Cart, near Haresfield, June 1926pencil drawing 34 x 52 cm 70/316 This two-wheel harvest cart, with its delicate curving wheel arches, is similar to the Cornish wain, the Scotch harvest cart and the Welsh gambo (70/315).
Bow wagon, back, front and side viewsno date pencil drawing 56 x 76 cm 70/313 The typical wagon of the South Midlands.
Box wagon, Elliot's Farm, August 1928pencil drawing 25 x 35 cm 70/314 The typical wagon of much of eastern England.
Cart, Oakridgeno date pencil sketch and note, 17 x 22 cm 73/197 William Simmonds notes that this primitive two wheel cart was the only one known in Oakridge during the youth of his informant, George Gardiner, who did not see a 'proper pony trap' until he was fourteen years old.
Sidney Barnsley's house, Sapperton 1927pencil drawing 25 x 34 cm. 73/199 The note says "before alteration". Sidney Barnsley, 1865 - 1926, with his brother Ernest and Ernest Gimson established workshops in Gloucestershire at the end of the nineteenth century, eventually at Daneway House, Sapperton. This house was designed by Barnsley and built of local materials by local craftsmen. He was known particularly as a craftsman in wood, especially solid construction in oak which he designed and made himself.
William Simmonds visited Kent and made these drawings in 1926. In a sketch book, now in the museum's document collection, are further notes and studies from the county.
Canterbury Museumunfinished sketch of waggon, afer T.S. Cooper 1832
Canterbury 16th August 1926.
Wagon, Burnthouse Farm, Chartham, August 1926pencil drawing in sketchbook D71/2/1/3
drawing with measurements in sketchbook D71/2/1/3
Harness, Ashford Market, August 1926Pencil sketch, annotated: "Horse resting in the large shed in the cattle market place."
Old mill, dated 1813, Kennington, August 1926pencil drawing 16 x 12 cm
This mill was reported derelict by 1933. At the time of the drawing it could only have been an empty shell.
Smock mill, Will(e)sborough, August 1926pencil drawing 35 x 25 cm
Mills of this type, with octagonal weather boarded towers and square brick bases, were once widespread in Kent. This mill was built in 1869 and is still standing.
Later in 1926 William Simmonds visited Glamorgan. His sketchbook includes various notes and reminiscences as well as drawings. The following transcription from his notes illustrates an interest in those examples of craftsman's work which were disappearing from the countryside, primarily the search for Irish and truckle carts on the Gower peninsula'
Harness, Mr. Tuckers Farm, Horton, September, 1926pencil drawing 20 x 29 cm 73/200 Mr. Tucker was one of Simmonds' informants, see transcription.
Rhosilli Church entrance, Gower, August 1926pencil drawing 25 x 35 cm 73/201 Rhosilli is at the extreme south-west tip of the Gower peninsula. The entrance is to the thirteenth century church, St. Mary's.
Annotated sketchDescription taken down from a man at Rhosilly
Wheels, Rosill, Rhosilli, no date ? 1926Truckle cart wheels of elm hooped with iron
pencil drawing in sketch book
Measured drawing, wheel.Rhosilli
Pencil Sketch with measurements. Includes drawing of iron rod "much rusted on a field wall by the cliff path to Oxwich."
'Truck car', Well Park, Llangennith, no date ? 1926pencil drawing of cart and horse, with rough measurements D71/2/1/11 The truck car is discussed in Simmonds' notes.
Wheels, Horton 1926Two solid wooden wheels, with traces of red paint.
Wheel and tongue (?), HortonMeasured drawing of wheel, and sketch of tongue (?)
Annotated "T. W. Gordon, Horton"; undated
Wheels, (Overton); and Flails (Swansea Museum)Measured drawing of section of wheel. Annotated : "Pair of wheels on farm at Overton said to be about the type (and probably more) Irish car wheels" Plus sketch of flails from Swansea Museum; dated 1928.
Swanseas sketch dated 1926
Two carts (Mumbles 1844 (?) )Drawn from a sketch in the Swansea picture gallery (Museum)
undated (probably 1926)
Cart, 'wean, sometimes called gambo', Horton, August 1926pencil drawing
J.G. Jenkins writes that the Welsh gambo is related with the English longcart and Scotch harvest cart, to various Mediterranean carts (Two Wheeled Carts, Gwerin Volume II No 4).
Man at Horton talking of truckle car wheels
From a photograph in a cottage at Oxwich, Gower, described by the owner as an "Irish car" the kind of cart that used to be used in Gower by nearly all the people, now quite vanished. Her son told me that within his memory all the people used to go to Swansea in them, usually loaded on each way of the journey, and not trotting, the roads being too bad.
Transcription : The search for an Irish Car
'Irish car', Mrs Groves Leason, Gower, September, 1926section of cart and detail of back, with measurements
D71/2/1/18 The search for an 'Irish car' and descriptions of its construction and use may be found in the notes.
'Irish car', Mrs Groves Leason, Gower, September, 1926Sketch of Irish car
Transcription of notes from sketchbook
Old man at Rhosilli, Glamorgan, Gower.
? Young man
Old man with a sheaf of oats on a fork over his shoulder
Mr. Tom Taylor, Cuming Farm, Llanmadog.
The Blacksmith at Llanmadog
Mr. Tucker's description of threshing and winnowing in the earlier times in Gower.
Bus inspector, Gower Glamorgan
Mr. Tucker, Horton, Gower, Glamorgan
Old man at Rhosilli talking of the spoiling corn
N.B. J.G. Jenkins in Two wheeled carts, Gwerin Volume II No 4, writes of Britain that it was a "zone of admixture where the wagon, a feature of continental life, meets the cart, a cultural feature of Atlantic Europe". He writes of Western and Northern Britain that two wheeled vehicles are "varied in the extreme", but all display certain common features. The main common feature is their relationship with the simple sledge, the slide car. The Irish and truckle cars shown here are clearly related to the primitive vehicle. Jenkins says that the Irish car (or car gwyddelig) was widely used in Glamorgan and Breconshire.
Whilst traveling in Europe William Simmonds was clearly still interested in rural life. The drawings include detailed studies of the interior and exterior of a French windmill and samples of farm transport which are very different from those observed in Gloucestershire or in Wales.
Farm wagon, Sangatte, August 1925pencil drawing 17 x 25 cm
The wagon appears particularly long and at the top of the drawing is a note of its exact length 15.0 feet. The maker's name, M. Hembert is noted at the side.
Sangatte is situated between Calais and Boulogne.
Three ox ploughs, San Paolo Mosciano, May 1925pencil drawing 24 x 34 cm
Mosciano is a small village in South Central Italy
Laurel C. Ball,
Museum of English Rural Life
University of Reading