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Petit's Tours of Old Staffordshire

By Philip Modiano


For everyone who is already interested in our heritage, art and landscape. And for those who would like to discover a fun and easy way to understand more.

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£14.00

978-1-916493100

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The story of nineteenth-century British architecture is mainly that of the Gothic Revival, because it was written by its proponents. Little is known of the widespread damage that restoration inflicted on our medieval heritage and of the few brave men standing against the Revival in the middle of the century when the fashion was at its peak. Reverend John Louis Petit, a brilliant watercolourist, was a leading opponent. In his writing and speaking he employed his art to demonstrate the diverse beauty of historic styles in order to stem the losses of the old and argue for originality in the new. He never sold work, so it has been stored and ignored for 150 years.

Through tours around Petit’s beloved home county of Staffordshire this book gently introduces readers to the beauties of an overlooked county, the glory of its old architecture and the extraordinary talent of this forgotten artist. The book comprises eight half-day tours, mostly well off the beaten track, illus- trated by Petit’s watercolours of landscapes and buildings. In some shape or form they all remain and the reader will enjoy finding how they have changed in 150 years, and discovering the exact spot where the artist sat.

The first tour starts at the spectacular Tixall Gatehouse outside Stafford and ends at the windmill north of Lichfield, taking in ruins, a canal view and landscapes on the way. Others start from Stafford, Lichfield and around Dovedale in the north east of the county. Wolverhampton, once part of Stafford- shire, and a rare tourist destination, is included in the southernmost tour. Besides the churches, images include unknown pictures of Black Country mines and factories 80 years before Lowry made them fashionable, old mills and bridges, Alton Towers before it was developed by the Earl of Shrewsbury, and wonderful, often obscure landscapes that are thankfully unchanged.

The Author: Philip Modiano has spent the last three years researching the art and architectural views of the Reverend John Louis Petit.

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