Guy Barton, 1907-1981, made an outstanding contribution to the design of kneelers and other forms of Anglican textile art, continuing the tradition launched by Louisa Pesel in the Thirties in Winchester.
His first major commission was for the choir stalls at Lancaster Priory, with designs based on the building’s history and architecture. His wife, Maire, was responsible for experimenting with the different complex stitches then training a team of embroiderers. The project took 15 years to complete and is one of the glories of the Church of England.
Heysham, Giggleswick and other Lancastrian churches turned to Guy for further designs. The Chapel of the Savoy in London, where the Queen is honoured as Duke of Lancaster, followed suit. Winchester Cathedral commissioned an altar rail kneeler featuring its Norman and Gothic arches and illustrating gifts that had been made to it since the time of William of Wykeham.
Guy Barton was Art Master at Marlborough College for twenty years from 1946, but the greater part of his embroidery designs were made during his retirement at Claughton Hall in the Lune valley in Lancashire. In 1986, Abbot Hall in Kendall held an exhibition of his paintings and embroidery designs.
This website has photographs of his kneelers at Colne in Lancashire but sadly lacks any other by this important designer. Volunteer photographers badly needed!