A few years ago we were involved in contributing to the research into Thomas Penson, the architect of Christ Church, for an exhibition organised by the Llanfyllin Dolydd Building Preservation Trust. It was designed to be a touring exhibition and we are delighted to be now hosting it here. John Hainsworth, who led the project has penned the following extract about Thomas Penson coming home.
‘An exhibition on the border architect Thomas Penson has opened in one of his most iconic buildings.
Christ Church, Welshpool is one of the most imposing Victorian churches in Wales, tucked away at the head of the town on the edge of Powis Castle park. Closed since 1998 it’s now the home of Karl and Natalie Bass and their three sons, who’ve spent almost twenty years building a family residence inside the west end. The rest of the church is largely as Penson designed it in 1839 to celebrate the coming-of-age of Lord Clive, eldest son of the Earl of Powis. It’s known for its rich detail in terracotta, an ornamental brick: Penson pioneered its use.
Christ Church features in the exhibition along with other churches, houses and public buildings built by Thomas Penson all along the Welsh border. As County Surveyor for Montgomeryshire and Denbighshire Penson was also responsible for many roads and bridges that carry heavy traffic today. They’re illustrated in the display along with a map showing where his works can be seen.
The exhibition on Thomas Penson will be on view until the autumn, and visitors on Friday afternoons will be able to see it along with his church in its beautiful, wooded setting. They can buy a copy of Natalie’s book (‘Remembering the Fallen of the Great War at Christ Church‘) and can also discover the story of a family who have rescued a fine, unwanted building for everyone to enjoy.’
The Thomas Penson exhibition can be viewed here on Friday afternoon’s. 1 – 4 pm or at other times by appointment. The exhibition will be here until at least the autumn.