Monday, November 19, 2012

Did the Artist's Daughter go to this School?

In April I mentioned an unusual house, Caldecote Towers, Aldenham, which became a girls boarding school - See This Crazy Looking House became a School.

Caldecote Towers - View over the Golf Course

I have now located two post cards, one showing the gardens in summer, the other showing the house in winter. Both are from paintings by Charles Essenhigh Corke. Charles was an artist who lived in Sevenoaks, Kent. He painted many views for the post card publishers, J. Salmon, but almost without exception these views were of Kent or other southern counties.

The choice of subject seems strange if all Charles was doing was to produce a number of views of Hertfordshire - and the subjects make more sense if you consider the cards as "Art cards" where the location is not very important.  Perhaps it is relevant that he had two daughters who could have been at the school at about the time the cards were published.  Of course this is speculation but it could explain his interest in the area.  


  1. Edward James Gilbert Thunder Bay,Ontario CanadaJanuary 21, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    I am a member of the Tunbridge Wells Family History Society and a researcher and writer of articles about the history of Tunbridge Wells. One of my hobbies is researching and collecting postcards, particularly those pertaining to Tunbridge Wells. of which the J. Salmon company of Sevenoaks produced many. Having researched Salmon postcards by such artists as A.R. Quinton, F.W. Burton (a local Tunbridge Wells artist) and others I recently turned my attention to the paintings of Charles Essenheigh Corke, who in addition to running a photographic studio in Sevenoaks, Kent became an accomplished artist in oil and watercolour and of whos work J. Salmon produced in the order of 200 postcards of his paintings, including the two you refer to of Hertfordshire. From my research there is no concrete evidence that Corke's daughters attended school in Hertfordshire but there is a connection of the Corke family to Hertforshire which might explain Charles atypical production of two paintings so far away from his normal range of operations. The connection is by way of his son Douglas Essenheigh Corke, born December 16,1896 in Sevenoaks. Douglas did not become a photographer or painter but after living with his parents in Sevenoaks he enlisted August 26,1914 with the Royal West Kent Regiment. He survived the war and was discharged August 17,1919 and returned to civilian life. He married Phyllis M. Carter in Sevenoaks in 1921 and later moved to Watford,Hertforshire where he died December 1978. I have not researched Douglas's entire live and have not looked into when he first moved to Hertfordshire. Charles Essenheigh Corke died in 1922 and so either Douglas had moved there by then and Charles was visiting his son or the Corke family had other relatives in Herefordshire. It would be interesting for my research to know the numbers of the two Hertforshire cards and so would appreciate it if you would post them.

    Regards.....Edward James Gilbert-Thunder Bay,Ontario,Canada

    1. I only have one of the cards shown - The View over the Golf Course - but unfortunately it has no number.


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