Manwaring Shurlock

Manwaring Shurlock

Manwaring Shurlock wrote `Tiles from Chertsey Abbey Surrey representing early romance subjects’, published in 1885. The book followed the accidental discovery of Medieval tiles on Chertsey Abbey Estate in 1852.

Shurlock had been studying encaustic tiles in Eynsham, Oxfordshire, but moved to Chertsey in 1853. Soon after his arrival Manwaring met the owner of the Abbey site, Mr. Samuel Grumbridge, and chanced to see tile fragments in his yard. The fragments were picked out and washed, and Manwaring managed to piece together about 30 nearly perfect subjects.

Mr. Herbet Minton, the ceramic manufacturer, and the sculptor Sir. Gilbert Scott visited Chertsey to inspect the tiles. They funded further research, and an exhibition of the Abbey tiles at the Surrey Archaeological Society meeting in Chertsey, in 1855.

Further excavations in 1861 exposed many more tile fragments on the Abbey Estate, and a stone coffin in the Chapter House was discovered almost full of tiles, attracting great attention from scholars and collectors.

Shurlock formed a small collection of Chertsey tiles which were exhibited in the Surrey Archaeological museum in Croydon, and also became part of the display in the Medieval Department at the British Museum, London.