Securing our history for the future

W W Wheatley 1811-1885

William Walter Wheatley is thought to have been born in Bristol in 1811 and died on 1st March 1885 at the age of 74.

In the mid 1880’s probably just prior to his death, it is recorded that he was quite old and living in reduced circumstances and lodging at Hatfield Buildings, Widcombe Hill, Bath. He is also known to have lived at Rode prior to 1860, and in 1923 was well remembered by a few members of the village. He lived there in a house in Marsh Lane with his wife and son. At that time there were recollections of his geniality and for possessing a tame cuckoo.

He was a prolific sketcher and watercolour painter, particularly of churches including aspects of their interiors. He was commissioned by a number of local worthies. G.W. Braikenridge of Brislington employed Wheatley to illustrate a new publication of Collinson’s History of Somerset, originally published in 1791. He provided similar work for W. ADLAM and for Prebendary J S W Horner, which is now in the possession of the Society of Antiquaries of London and the Earl of Oxford & Asquith respectively. The Somerset collection of Braikenridge was bequeathed to the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. (Illustrations in the collection of Som. Arch. Soc. are held in the Somerset Studies Library above the Public Library in Taunton.) He is known to have exhibited his work at a meeting of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 1854

These are his paintings of Bawdrip Church from circa 1843

church 1843