Woodroffe, Paul

Paul Woodroffe, nave north aisle window (1920s), Catholic Church of St Catherine, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire. Gloucestershire.
Photo: Peter Hildebrand

Paul Vincent Woodroffe (1875-1954) originally worked as an illustrator, training at the Slade School of Art from 1893. He started his stained glass training in the late 1890s with Christopher Whall, and was designing and making glass by 1900, using the facilities of Lowndes & Drury. A friend of C R Ashbee, in 1904 he was drawn to Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire, setting up a studio and home in a cottage that Ashbee altered for him. As well as friendship and camaraderie with between himself and his craftsmen with the artists and craftspeople of Ashbee’s Guild and School of Handicraft, he also became friends F. L. Griggs, one of the finest etchers of his time, who had moved to Chipping Campden in 1903.

A long-standing studio member was Joseph Edward (Eddie) Nuttgens, who Woodroffe asked to go into partnership with him when he was not well in the 1920s, though Nuttgens declined.

His most important commission was for the Lady Chapel in St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral, New York, completed between 1912 and 1934. Woodroffe’s work can be seen around Britain in both Anglican and Catholic churches, including St. Mary’s Catholic church in Uttoxeter, Our Lady and St. Peter, Leatherhead, and St. Mary and St. Egwin, Evesham. He also designed a war memorial window for his old school, Stonyhurst, and a panel showing Little Miss Muffet for Dover’s House, in Chipping Campden, rented by F. L. Griggs.

His archive of designs and photographs can be found at The Wilson Art Gallery and Museum in Cheltenham, along with another nursery rhyme panel.

Source: ‘Paul Woodroffe, stained glass artist’ by Peter Cormack in Originality and Initiative: The Arts and Crafts archives at Cheltenham, ed. Mary Greensted and Sophia Wilson (Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum in association with Lund Humphries, 2003)

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