Above: Click to view a larger image of the painting. If anyone can help identify the artist, please get in touch. Or leave a comment below.
Above: The artist’s signature (click to enlarge). Can anyone make it out?
Above: The shrine today, taken by Gail under grey skies in early June 2017. (Click to enlarge.)
Here’s another little gem recently discovered in Buxton Museum’s art collection. Most visitors to the Valley, approaching from the Buxton end of the Whaley Bridge road, will recognise this small shrine, set into the dry-stone wall beside the lane on the approach to the twin reservoirs.
It always seems to be decorated with flowers – no matter what time of year. I don’t know when the shrine was built, but I’m guessing it dates from the time of Samuel Grimshawe, the owner of the Errwood Estate, who converted to Catholicism in 1851, shortly after the death of his father.
Page update #2: Gail has discovered a webpage explaining all about the shrine. As well as information about its history, the page includes a slideshow of photos showing the shrine being blessed (example above). Click here to view the page.
It seems I was wrong to think it had been the work of Samuel Grimshawe. It was actually built in the 1950s by Brian Foxton, who claims it was the first shrine to have been built on public land since the Reformation in the early 1500s.
But there is a connection between the shrine and the Grimshawe family. It’s maintained by St Anne’s Church in Buxton. Samuel Grimshawe donated £100 towards the cost of building the catholic church in 1860. And later that year, his 7-year-old daughter, Genevieve, lay the foundation stone.