About the Penmorfa Paintings

Penmorfa was built in the early 1860s at the instruction of Henry Liddell (Dean of Christ Church) on Llandudno’s West Shore. The Dean and his family used it for several years as a holiday home. One of Dean Liddell’s daughters, Alice, was reputedly the inspiration for Lewis Caroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’. The property was sold by the Dean in August 1873 to the Reverend Robert Taylor of Yorkshire.

Some of the the forty seven paintings that adorned the drawing room at Penmorfa prior to its demolition are dated 1887. Some are signed ‘B Ousey’ and others are intialled with a ‘B’ set within an ‘O’. Others are unsigned, one even appears to have had the signature painted over shortly after completion of the painting. The styles are all very similar and seem to fit with the work of Buckley Ousey.

Buckley Ousey, 1851 – 1889, was just beginning to be recognised as an artist of potential at the time of his death. His work features mainly marine and landscape scenes.

Pencil inscriptions found on the rear of the oak panels that held these paintings indicate that the drawing room was not completely lined with these paintings until at least 1903. Variations in the way the paintings were mounted in the panels suggest that there were probably two phases of panelling the room.

These paintings were at the heart of this much loved building for most of its existence. It would be interesting to build upon the history of the paintings and the history of the building itself. If you have any information that may help please do share it here.

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