Tiles By William Godwin Of Lugwardine
There is spot where my eyes fall as I enter the house between the front door and the foot of the stair, where I always felt there was something missing and it was only when I visited Bow Church this spring to admire C R Ashbee’s restoration work that I realised there would once have been floor tiles in my entrance way. It was a notion enforced when I noticed some medieval encaustic tiles at Charterhouse and began to research the possible nature of the missing tiles from my house.
In 1852, William Godwin began creating gothic tiles by the encaustic process century at his factory at Lugwardine in Herefordshire and became one of the leading manufacturers in the nineteenth century, supplying the demand for churches, railway stations, schools, municipal buildings and umpteen suburban villas. Inevitably, some of these tiles have broken over the time and millions have been thrown out as demolition and the desire for modernity have escalated.
So I decided to create a floor with the odd tiles that no-one else wants, bringing together tiles that once belonged to whole floors of matching design, now destroyed, and give them a new home in my house. Oftentimes, I bought broken or chipped ones and paid very little for each one – but I hope you will agree that together their effect is magnificent.
Encaustic tiled floor designed by C R Ashbee for Bow Church using Godwin tiles
Medieval encaustic tiles at the bricked-up entrance to Charterhouse in Smithfield
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