Architectural Pottery Company, Poole

Membland Hall tile panel (1876)

William Morris's design for this tile panel (A31) is also in the collection and is inscribed along upper right edge, 'Tiles for bathroom, Membland'. Membland Hall, near Plymouth, Devon was purchased by Edward Charles Baring (1829-1897) in 1877. Baring was a banker, created first Baron Revelstoke in 1885. He exployed the architect George Davey (1820-1886) to re-model the house and add wings and outbuildings. This ceramic panel was manufactured by William De Morgan, with Morris's design being painted on blanks supplied by the Architectural Pottery Company, Poole, Dorset.

Membland Hall was sold in 1916 and, prior to its demolition in 1928, a series of six sets of these tiles were found in a cupboard and had apparently never been mounted. One of these sets was presented to the V&A (C.36-1972) and other panel was with the Fine Art Society in 1972. Tile panels of the design used at Membland appeared in the Morris firm's stocklist as late as 1913 and were presumably available on commission until that date. In 1899 Lewis Day attributed the design and its execution to the year 1876 (William Morris and His Art, Art Journal Supplement 1899, p.19).