‘The Grand Tour and its Lancashire Legacy’

A Talk by Julia Clayton.

What did it mean for members of the Lancashire gentry to go on the ‘Grand Tour’ in the eighteenth century?  What did they expect to get out of it, and how did it continue to influence their lives when they returned home?

This talk will explore the reasons why people went on the Grand Tour, and how they used it as a means to create their own art collections, as well as looking at the economics of the Tour, including the infrastructure and support industries (hotels, guidebooks, souvenirs) which made it all possible.

We will focus, in particular, on the experiences of three Grand Tourists from Lancashire: Charles Towneley (Burnley), Henry Blundell (Crosby) and John Foster Junior (Liverpool), looking at the impact of the artworks and the knowledge that they brought back with them from the Continent.  The talk will include plenty of suggestions for objects and buildings which you can go and look at.

Julia ClaytonJulia Clayton is a historian and author from Southport.  Until 2019 she was the head of the Classics Department at King George V College, specialising in the teaching of Classical Art. She is currently working on a doctoral thesis at Edge Hill University on invented artworks in fiction, especially artworks with a Classical theme.

Julia’s interest in the Grand Tour developed out of her interest in the afterlife of Greek sculpture, including the routes by which Greek and Roman sculptures ended up in museums, galleries and private collections in the UK.  She regularly posts articles on Classical sculpture – and on modern controversies relating to public sculpture – on her Classical Clayton blog.


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