An Artist, an Author, a Poet and a Sportsman

Richard Parkes Bonington (1802-1828), was an artist born in Arnold, moved to France when he was 15, living in Paris. He specialised in both watercolour painting and oil-painting and is recognised as one of the most important landscape painters of his generation, depicting atmosphere and light very effectively. His work is exhibited in the Tate Britain and the National Gallery in London.

JRR Tolkien (1892-1973) was a frequent visitor to his aunt Jane at Phoenix farm, Gedling and it is believed that much of his inspiration for Lord of the Rings came from people and places around Gedling and Lambley.

Lord George Gordon Byron, (1788-1824), the famous romantic poet and a champion of liberty throughout Europe, lived from the age of 10 at his ancestral home of Newstead Abbey, sold to the Byron family by Henry VIII for £810 in 1540. Byron was the father of Ada Lovelace, the world-famous mathematician. They are buried together in the family vault at St Mary’s Church, Hucknall.

Read about Byron’s daughter Ada Lovelace:

Alfred Shaw: The well-known cricketer was born in Burton Joyce in 1842, becoming an apprentice framework knitter before embarking on his cricketing career. Shaw had the distinction of bowling the first ball at Melbourne in the first ever Test match in Australia, in 1877.

Image: Alfred Shaw