The auction includes a drawing of Llaneilan Church. Image: 1818 Auctioneers

The auction includes a drawing of Llaneilan Church. Image: 1818 Auctioneers

Four sketches by the celebrated author and artist Alfred Wainwright have been put up for auction.

As well as two Lakeland drawings, an auction house in Cumbria is seeking bids for views of two Welsh churches.

Valuer David Brookes of 1818 Auctioneers estimates drawings of the two churches could make between £300 and £400 apiece, and two signed ink drawings of Great Carrs and The Duddon could each sell for as much as £800.

A Kendal vendor has put the Lakeland sketches up for sale, while the two Welsh scenes have been entered into the auction by Jenny Dereham, Wainwright’s publisher during the last 10 years of his life.

Jenny Dereham with Alfred Wainwright

Jenny Dereham with Alfred Wainwright

Valuer David Brookes said: “Wainwright produced three books of Welsh drawings.

“Up for auction is a drawing of Llaneilian Church on Anglesey, with its famous pyramidal spire, which appeared in The North Wales Sketchbook. The other is a drawing of St Govan’s Chapel, perched on the cliffs of St Govan’s Head in Pembrokeshire, from The South Wales Sketchbook.

“Jenny Dereham was a good friend of Alfred and Betty Wainwright. She first met Wainwright after writing to ask if he would collaborate on a book with well known photographer Derry Brabbs. It led to a bestselling series of eight large-format books.

“When Wainwright died, Betty invited Jenny to choose some drawings. Having a little Welsh blood, of which she’s proud, Jenny chose the two Welsh churches.”

The valuer says the firm has seen a huge increase in interest in Wainwright’s pen-and-ink drawings. Mr Brookes said: “Last June we set a record for the price paid for a Wainwright signed drawing when a Lancaster bidder paid £10,200 for a framed sketch of Striding Edge, Helvellyn.

The signed drawing of the Duddon at Wallowbarrow could make £800. Image: 1818 Auctioneers

The signed drawing of the Duddon at Wallowbarrow could make £800. Image: 1818 Auctioneers

“People want a connection to Wainwright and to share his love of mountains. Wainwright wrote that mountain tops were places to refresh the soul, find new perspectives and banish worries. That’s particularly meaningful right now.

“They were, he says, good friends, always reliable and welcoming and he felt indebted to them. We also expect interest in the lesser known side of his work, the delightful drawings he made of two Welsh churches.”

Wainwright is best known for his series of Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells. Born in Blackburn, he made his first life-changing visit to the Lake District at the age of 23. In 1941 he moved to Kendal and worked at the borough treasurer’s office. He combined work with fellwalking, illustrating and producing guidebooks.

As well as his Pictorial Guides, he devised A Coast to Coast Walk and also produced a Pennine Way Companion. His books of pen-and-ink drawings included the Scottish Highlands, the Lake District, Wales, the Peak District and Yorkshire Dales. Wainwright died in 1991, aged 84.

The sketches are part of an online timed auction run by Crooklands-based 1818 Auctioneers, which ends on 21 February. Details are on the auction house’s website.

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