Paintings of Honiton's bygone days go up for sale

Alfred Leyman's painting of Exeter Road, Honiton, dated 1887.

Alfred Leyman's painting of Exeter Road, Honiton, dated 1887. - Credit: Chilcotts Auctioneers

Five watercolours of scenes from Honiton in the days before the motor car will go under the hammer next month. 

The paintings by local artist Alfred Leyman will be auctioned by Chilcotts on Saturday, January 15. 

Leyman was the art master at Allhallows School between 1893 and 1933, but is said to have preferred painting to teaching. He produced many watercolours of the local area, showing landmarks that are still recognisable today. 

Alfred Leyman painting of Awliscombe, dated 1894.

Alfred Leyman painting of Awliscombe, dated 1894. - Credit: Chilcotts Auctioneers

Auctioneer Duncan Chilcott said: “Amongst the five Leyman paintings we have for auction is one showing the River Otter. An inscription on the back of the frame describes the location as Allez Vous Lane, which we think is now Clapper Lane, as Dumpdon Hill is visible in the distance. 

“Another shows the view from Beech Avenue - again a certain amount of guesswork suggests this is Beech Walk near Gittisham, as Hembury Fort is discernible in the background. 

“What are now busy main roads - the A373 and A30 - were at the time little more than farm tracks as can be seen in Leyman’s portrayals of Awliscombe and Monkton. Locals will recognise some of the buildings, farms and houses, which remain standing to this day.” 

Monkton village, painted by Alfred Leyman

Monkton village, painted by Alfred Leyman - Credit: Chilcotts Auctioneers

The final painting clearly shows a well-known Honiton location near Turks Head, with St Margaret’s Chapel on one side of the lane and the alms-houses on the opposite side. 

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The watercolours, with estimated sale prices of between £200 and £400, have been with an old Devon family for many years and are well cared for; the colours remain fresh and the detail clear. The vendor and his late wife originally purchased them when out on trips, visiting antique shops and galleries in the West Country. They liked his work, but bought these particular pieces because they are paintings of the area that they loved and lived in. 

Duncan added: “These pretty watercolours will appeal to local people who have an interest in the history of the town. They give a real insight into the way Honiton and local villages looked in the late 19th century before the advent of the motor car and tarmacked roads!” 


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