I was recently drawing in High Barnet, and focused on a beautiful small Victorian building close to the church and the high street, called the Hyde Institute. I have since become curious as to how the building came about and what the Hyde Institute is – here’s what I’ve found out so far:
The Hyde Institute and Reading Rooms.
—In 1888 Mrs. Julia Hyde by her will, proved on the 23 October, bequeathed £10,000 to the rectors and churchwardens of Monken Hadley and Chipping Barnet to be applied by them in trust to establish a library, institute, and reading rooms for the use of the two parishes, and to furnish the same and provide a library of books for use therein, and to set apart and invest part of the legacy and apply the income in hiring a building or rooms in one of the said parishes for the purposes thereof. The sum of £1,000 was spent in books and furniture, and the balance was invested as to £5,000 in £5,063 5s. 4d. India 3 per cent. stock, and as to £4,000 in £4,107 16s. 1d. consols, the annual income amounting to £264 16s. 8d. The institute was maintained in a house in Barnet held at a rent of £80 a year, until 1904, when a suitable building was erected in Church Passage, by private generosity.
Now I need to see if I can discover who the architect was and what happens in the building today – that’s phase 2!
The painting is now showing at the Camden Image Gallery, close to Camden Road tube station, till the 1st of March.
Out again in High Barnet painting local scenes. There are always a number of people who come and comment when one paints outdoors and today was no exception: several shoppers, a Japanese student, a local historian and assorted children. I like it. They nearly all offer advice and, what I like most, they often look up at the scene you’re painting with fresh eyes, as if they hadn’t quite noticed it until then. So generally, I find it charming.
The cold weather is back and, in preparation for a painting trip to Snowdonia, I’ve been out sketching in the cold. It certainly makes you paint faster than a lovely summer’s day! I’m planning to walk into the hills in North Wales, so I think I’ll take a thermarest chair, thermos and my tiny tent, so I can stay warm!! This is of a beautiful tree and building off Hadley Green:
We’ll shortly be moving to High Barnet and I’m enjoying exploring the area – a wealth of beautiful houses, many of them Georgian, and some great churches. The spaces for walking are good too, so some landscapes might even creep in to the sketchbook. On Saturday I went out and did a quick sketch of little corner of Monken Hadley – duck pond and weeping willow, very english!
I’m painting a series of images of Barnet at the moment. This is the first one I’m happy with – the church near Monken Hadley. I was lucky with the weather (after 5 months of ice and snow!) and it was a good day to be out, so here it is. I’m going to darken the rooves and retouch some small details, but essentially i think it works…