Petworth and Constable

On Thursday 6th Feb Marian drove us to Petworth for an early lunch and then the small but perfectly formed Constable exhibition of mainly drawings and watercolours made in the area on one of his three visits here (and hereabouts).  A shortage of parking in Petworth and the fact that there is a good pub and community owned shop just 4 miles further west took us to Lodsworth, also the home of Langham’s Brewery.  The shop is a grand handmade thing of whole tree trunks, woven wattle panels and sawn chestnut shingles.

Inside the community shop - Lodsworth's Larder

Inside the community shop – Lodsworth’s Larder – a Ben Law design.  He’s local.

After a little shopping we adjourned to the adjacent Hollist Arms for a drop of Langham’s Arapaho American Pale Ale.  The pump clip is set out: ArAPAho – see how clever that is?  Beautifully pale and full of those American hops.  Also sampled some fairly standard bitter from Flack Manor Brewery – Flack Catcher, and a little Hophead from Dark Star.  Halves all the way.  Really pleasing menu, but a warning that each dish is individually prepared so be ready to wait.  After checking on timing we chose burgers and chips, handmade and delicious, with plenty of greenery to make it seem healthy.  With a timed entrance at Petworth there was no chance to buy beer at the brewery.  On the way back to Petworth we saw the very Scottish style Tillington church tower which later appeared in a Constable picture:

Tillington Chuch by Constable, 1834

Tillington Chuch by Constable, 1834

One small painting showed two Brighton windmills across a harvested field.  The caption suggests it shows Vine and Clifton mills – locations now in central Brighton.  More on that later, but here it is, from the net:

The Gleaners by Constable, 1824.

The Gleaners by Constable, 1824.

Best bit of info was beside a painting by William Blake in the main house.  It seems Constable showed Blake one of his sketchbooks and Blake said, ‘Why this is not drawing, but inspiration.’  Constable is reported as replying, ‘I never knew it before, I meant it for drawing.’  Well, I reckon that was sarcasm, and nicely done.  Heading home the rain was getting heavier and Pulborough levels were  a continuous sheet of water:

Loads of water at Pulborough

Loads of water at Pulborough


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