The Bromsgrove Guild I Oxford Open Learning

    The Bromsgrove Guild

    The Bromsgrove Guild

    A Name That Should Be Better Known

    Founded by craftsman Walter Henry Gilbert in 1898, The Bromsgrove Guild was a company of artists and designers most commonly associated with the Arts and Crafts movement. Originally located at the Bromsgrove School of Art where Gilbert was Headmaster, The Guild brought together numerous professional artists and craftsmen. By 1899 The Guild had established their own premises, and by the early 20th century, had set up workshops in London, Glasgow, Edinburgh and other major British cities.

    Famed Creations And Landmarks By The Bromsgrove Guild

    The years leading up to World War One were seen as The Guild’s golden age. In 1908 The Guild received a Royal Warrant, and they were awarded numerous prizes and recognition throughout the early 20th century. At its peak, The Guild had around 150 employees working across Britain, and they’d even opened branches in Canada and the USA (The sculpture of Neptune pictured, for instance, can be found in Kansas City). Working in metal, wood, plaster, bronze and glass, The Guild created some of the most well-known pieces of public art and design at some of Britain’s most famous landmark buildings. This includes:

    • The main gates of Buckingham Palace – The wrought iron gates, which stand outside the palace today, were commissioned in 1905 as part of the renovations to the palace that King George IV began in the late 18th century.
    • The Hygeia statue at Chequers, Buckinghamshire – Created in 1909, and located at the British Prime Minister’s country home in Aylesbury, this statue is a depiction of the ancient Greek goddess of health.
    • The Liver birds on the Royal Liver Building in Liverpool – Named Bella and Bertie, the two bird statues that sit atop the building each stand at 18 feet tall. It is said that one bird stands as lookout over the river Mersey whilst the other bird, which faces the city, keeps watch over Liverpool’s people. The Liver Building and its famous birds date back to 1911.

    Unfortunately, due to a decline in The Guild’s workforce (because of a lack of skilled craftspeople in the mid-1900s) and a number of financial issues, The Guild closed in 1966.


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