Paul Maze, the Last of the Impressionists by Paul Schofield

On Friday 23rd November 2018 The Wincanton and District Museum and History Society, held a very interesting talk by Phillip Scholfield, entitled “Paul Maze, the Last of the Impressionists”.

Phillip Schofield had first come across this remarkable man whilst a schoolboy – finding Paul Maze’s book in the school library.  This led to a lifelong interest in his paintings, and his life.

A Frenchman, Paul Maze was born in France in 1887.   His parents were wealthy, and artistic, whose circle of friends included Claude Monet and Pissarro.  These artists encouraged Paul to sketch and always carry a sketchpad and pencil.   He very quickly learnt the art, catching a scene quickly and accurately.   At the age of 12 he was sent to boarding school in England and fell in love with all things English.   In fact, he eventually became an English Citizen.

His artwork continued, but he began work in his father’s Company, although he always wanted to be an artist.   After some time he did start travelling and painting but WW1 loomed and he returned home.   As it turned out he joined the British Army and was wounded three times whilst in the thick of war.   Here his artistic talent came in useful, as he sketched the landscape etc., which could be of use of the Army.

After the war he married an English lady and lived in Scotland, Chelsea and Midhurst and eventually back to Paris where they separated.   Paul was involved with one of his models (Scottish) and they married in 1950.   He continued as an artist, but WW2 was on the horizon and he and family returned to England.  By now he was a friend of Churchill and they often painted together.  Now involved in his second War he become Personal Staff Officer to Sir Arthur “Bomber” Harris.

A prolific artist, he painted in England, countryside scenes, New York, busy city scenes and French Maritime scenes.  Various Military and ceremonial celebrations were also amongst his paintings, of which there were many.  Henley Regatta, Trooping of the Colour, and yatching at Cowes.  This interesting artist survived two Wars.  Throughout it all he remained an artist at heart, and died in England in 1979.

Many thanks were expressed to Mr. Schofield for his very interesting talk.

NATHANIEL IRESON of WINCANTON – Architect, Master Builder & Potter

On the 23rd September 2016, in the Wincanton Memorial Hall; Peter Fitzgearld will give a talk on,

Nathaniel-IresonNATHANIEL IRESON of WINCANTON – Architect, Master Builder & Potter

Nathaniel Ireson has long deserved to be restored to his rightful place as one of the leading West Country architects of the early 18th century, and in Peter FitzGerald he has found an author worthy of his achievements.

Peter FitzGerald, who lives near Wincanton and has a particular interest in architecture, has undertaken extensive research which has uncovered the very large number of houses, churches and other buildings on which Ireson worked.

Peter FitzGerald’s patient research has unearthed evidence of at least forty other houses that Ireson designed, many of them in the Provincial Baroque style that was his hallmark. One of the book’s strengths is the detailed appendix listing the buildings on which Ireson worked. Ireson made his home in Wincanton, where he set up a delft pottery. He carved church monuments and played a crucial role in the rebuilding of Blandford Forum after the Great Fire of 1731. By the time of his death in 1769, he was a highly regarded architect, whose legacy lives on throughout the West Country.

Peter makes a strong case for the importance of this neglected architect-builder-entrepreneur, who became Wincanton’s biggest employer and principal citizen.



It is sad that his name is no longer known outside the town, but Peter FitzGerald’s fascinating new book – Nathaniel Ireson of Wincanton, Architect, Master Builder and Potter – should redress that situation (and raise money to restore the imposing Ireson statue in Wincanton churchyard).

Wincanton Memorial Hall 23rd September 2016 7.30 PM

Cost; £5 Non Members, £2 Members