by | Oct 30, 2023 | Guide to The Cotswolds

A walk around the village itself to immerse yourself in its mixture of vernacular Cotswold architecture and Arts and crafts influences; a look inside the church; and the short walk alongside the remains of the old canal to Daneway, with its timeless pub. Beyond the pub, you can continue walking along the old canal with its charming 18th-century bridges and derelict locks. You can also walk from Sapperton into Cirencester Park, one of the finest landscaped gardens in England, laid out by the first Earl Bathurst after 1714.

Arts & Crafts

Sapperton is strongly associated with the leading lights of the Arts and Crafts movement. Most of the buildings in the eastern part of the village were built (or rebuilt) under the patronage of the Bathurst family in the Cotswold Arts and Crafts style. Upper Dorvel House and Beechanger, designed and built by the brothers Ernest (died 1925) and Sidney Barnsley (died 1926), and the Leasowes, built by their colleague Ernest Gimson (died 1919 in Sapperton) are to the north-east of the Church – walk, with the church to your left, along the road, as it fizzles out onto a woodland track.

Ernest and Sidney Barnsley were Arts and Crafts movement furniture designers and makers and in the early 20th century they established workshops here, often manned by local craftsmen, producing wrought-iron work, furniture, and decorative plasterwork. Ernest Gimson, was an English furniture designer and architect, described by the art critic Nikolaus Pevsner as “the greatest of the English architect-designers”. He lived at Danway House, which is not far from the Daneway pub. Together, in the years 1893-1900, they created the ‘Sapperton’ style, which emphasized the use of English hardwoods, exposed joints, chamfered members, decorative stringing, and inlays.

Norman Jewson (1884-1975), friend and associate of Gimson, and son-in-law to Ernest Barnsley, lived at Bachelors’ Court. ‘By Chance, I did Rove’ (1952), his memoir of village life and his association with the Gimson circle at the turn of the twentieth century, is recognized as a minor classic of Cotswold literature.