This wall painting hangs above the fireplace of a cottage in Moore. We didn’t know too much about it, but became interested in its simplicity and childlike quality. It appears to have two signatures – one is Brian Rudd, who touched it up in the 1980’s and the other is ‘TF Colston’.
For several years we thought that this was the artist. There are two paintings of All Saints’, Daresbury attributed to him and we know that these were painted in the mid 19th century. They are both of the same simplistic style as the one in Moore.
The cottage where it hangs is semi detached, but the painting just shows one half of it. The river is almost certainly the Mersey and the church at the right hand side is thought to be St Elphin’s in Warrington. The sailing boats on the river may give a clue to its age. It also depicts hare coursing and wildfowl shooting. The dress of the huntsmen gives us another clue. We’re not sure where the peacock fits in, nor the windmill, though there were several post windmills in the area.
Recently, we discovered that there are similar paintings in a farmhouse in Acton Cliffe. There are five wall panels in one bedroom and there may have been others, but it is thought that they were on outside walls and damaged by damp. The style is similar and scenes from Cheshire are depicted – Marbury Hall, Neston and Frodsham marshes. They are dated to the mid 18th century and either painted or commissioned by a member of the Milner family. A Cheshire archaeologist wrote an article about them and also the painting in Moore.
Recently, the painting in Moore was examined again and the signature of TF Colston includes the words ‘Repainted by TF Colston”. All of the paintings are protected by ‘listed’ status.
We will be doing more research and will update this article when we uncover any more information.
Our thanks to Amanda for allowing us access to the painting and to Ken for photographing it for us. Both have given their permission to include this article on our website.
If you know of any other similar paintings we’d love to hear from you. Thank you.