24/Apr/2014 - Last News Update: 10:00

Sir Walter Raleigh mural painted on Ashburton house

Category: England

Published: 21st Jul 2012 07:16:42

People living in a historical Devon town have been rubbing their eyes after spotting what appears to be Sir Walter Raleigh leaning out of a window and smoking a cigarette.

The famous Elizabethan explorer has not in fact come back to life but has been recreated in a clever trompe l'oeil - or realistic painting - on a town house in Ashburton.

Raleigh was born in Devon around 1552 and during his lifetime sailed to America, was knighted and became a member of parliament.

The mural was painted by artist Emily Smith, who was commissioned by the owner of the house, John Clipson.

Mr Clipson said: "I decided I wanted some street art but something local to Ashburton.

"I did a bit of research into local characters and found out that Sir Walter Raleigh had been arrested in the pub next door, the Exeter Inn, before being taken up to the Tower of London in 1603."

James I of England and VI of Scotland accused Raleigh of plotting against the king and he was sentenced to death.

This was reduced to life imprisonment and Raleigh spent the next 12 years in the Tower of London.

Ms Smith said: "There was a lot of walking up ladders, and it was very cold at times, but I had an absolutely beautiful view of Ashburton from up there."

She said at times she was sitting in a sleeping bag to keep warm.

Hound of the Baskervilles

Pam Billington, landlady of the Exeter Inn, said: "It's lovely. At the carnival, there were so many people looking up, I thought they were looking at the pub but they weren't, they were looking at the picture."

Adventurer, courtier to Elizabeth I, navigator, author and poet, Sir Walter Raleigh sailed to America and is credited with bringing potatoes and tobacco to Britain.

Ashburton resident, Phil Marshall, said: "It's different from the norm, you're walking along, you know the Exeter Inn is associated with Sir Walter Raleigh, and you look up and see the picture and know it's him, it's just wonderful."

Ms Smith is looking at other local characters she could paint peeping out of false windows on the town's buildings.

She said: "There's John Baskerville, who lived in West Street; he used to take Sir Arthur Conan Doyle up on the moor, and that's where the Baskerville name from Hound of the Baskervilles comes from.

"I'd also like to paint Screaming Lord Sutch."

Lord Sutch, the former leader of the Monster Raving Loony Party who died in 1999, was often seen at the town's Golden Lion Hotel, which was the party's official headquarters.

Ms Smith said: "It's now a bed and breakfast, they have a few filled in windows there so that could work quite well."

BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Sir Walter Raleigh mural painted on Ashburton house [Online] (Updated 21st Jul 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1441853/Sir-Walter-Raleigh-mural-painted-on-Ashburton-house [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Forest of Dean Wilderness Centre group 'makes final bid'

    A community group wanting to acquire a Forest of Dean outdoor education centre says it has offered its final bid.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Bryn Defaid opencast mine could create 50 Aberdare jobs

    Plans for a new opencast coal mine creating 50 jobs in the south Wales valleys are being recommended for approval by local councillors.
  • Labour Party seeks to cut links with Co-op Bank

    The Labour Party is looking to sever its links with the troubled Co-op Bank, bringing to an end one of the oldest political partnerships in UK.
  • Quentin Tarantino: Judge dismisses Gawker legal case

    A judge in the US has dismissed Quentin Tarantino's case against gossip website Gawker, who he claimed helped leak his screenplay The Hateful Eight.
  • Cancer teen Stephen Sutton's donation 'transformational'

    A teenager with terminal cancer will make a "transformational difference" after raising more than £1.5m, the Teenage Cancer Trust has said.