2019 - click > to browse thumbnails - click pictures to browse images full size

Letchworth Garden City & Henry Moore's Studios

The exhibition about the history of Letchworth Garden City was full of interest but rather too much to read in a short time. The bus tour took us to parts of the city that I had not seen before and, once again, I was reminded that the philosophy and design  of both the whole settlement and the individual buildings makes for such a humane and workable place to live. I know that rabid modernists deride the Garden City Movement and proclaim its failure but the reality is that the enduring popularity of these settlements by real residents [as opposed to visiting critics] demonstrates how right for people the concept was and remains. The tragedy is that the name, but none of the underlying philosophy, has been hijacked by unscrupulous politicians and property developers and is being misused to promote wholly other types of housing and settlements.

Jonathan Hurst

The disappointingly brief time available to us in the exhibition was more than compensated for by our guide on the coach tour of Letchworth. She told a fascinating story that encompassed the concepts behind the city’s origins, the conflicting types that were attracted to its foundation, the varying types of housing, the zoning of industry and of course the city we see today.



Having read reviews of the Moore shop/restaurant extension in the architectural press I was pleased to see it really working well on the beautiful sunny day with which we were blessed. The food was excellent.


The sculptures didn’t convince me – I have never been an enthusiast for Moore’s work, but their setting in the landscape did. What I found most interesting was seeing Moore’s way of working - how he made maquettes and how they were realised at full scale by assistants. There is something about learning how things are made that really appeals whether it is in a factory for cars or shoes or in a studio or workshop.

Jonathan Hurst




This was not my first visit to the Perry Green studios, but I still found much to interest me. The sunshine emphasised the variety in Moore’s surface treatments of his bronzes in the paddock close to the visitor centre. The sunlight highlighted the polished areas and deeper shadows were created that emphasised his textured surfaces.
We walked on as far as “The Arch” and from there looked out across “The Sheep Field” to “Large Reclining Figure” on a raised area on the horizon. I was reminded of white horses on hillsides.
As we walked back we entered the Maquette Studio where I was particularly struck by several large flints. It seemed to me that they were an important influence underlying much of his work and give us an entry point to understanding it.
The Aisled barn was a revelation; a beautiful old 16th century building that Moore had moved and reconstructed  on his estate. The scale of it was breathtaking. Inside were  tapestries, based on his original drawings, commisioned by Moore from west Dean College. (This sits across the valley from the Weald and Downland Museum that ADG visited in 2015).


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