|Many people drive past
St. Michael’s in Lyndhurst without realising the wonderful works
of art inside.
These include a large fresco on the east wall by Frederick
Leighton (later to become Lord Leighton and president
of the Royal Academy of Art) and windows on the east and south side by the
Burne-Jones, Rossetti and William
Morris. The windows on the north side are by Clayton
and Bell (1903) and on the west side by Charles Kempe.
Picture 1: Whilst visiting his
friend Captain Hamilton Aide in Forest Bank, Lyndhurst in 1862, Frederick
Leighton offered to paint a fresco free of charge on the east wall
of St. Michael’s church. Frescos had not previously been successfully
painted in this country due to the damp climate, but Leighton was keen
to try out a new technique. He went ahead with the fresco (Wise and
Foolish Virgins) in 1863 and it was to become one of his most
Picture 2: The east and south windows are mostly
designed by Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones in 1862/3 together
with work by William Morris and Rossetti.
William Allingham who was living in Lymington
at the time was a friend of the Pre-Raphaelites. He mentioned a
visit to the church in 1863 -
Tuesday, Wednesday, 7-8. ..... Slept
at the Crown, Lyndhurst — Church, window designed by Jones; Fresco,
half done, of the 'Foolish Virgins' by Leighton.