A RESIDENT of Danesfield House was so captivated by the mansion, the gardens and the view over the Thames that her dying wish was to be buried there.
When Helen Reid Stewart Hornby Lewis died in 1930, she was indeed buried in Danesfield, where she had lived with her husband, Arthur Hornby Lewis.
But eight years later, his coffin was moved to nearby Hambleden Cemetery so his estate could be sold.
Today, local artist and painter Gaila Adair has encapsulated that view seen by Helen in a new piece of art on display at Whitchurch.
Gaila, who is a landscaper and also a rower, says: “A remarkable lady and lover of beauty, Helen left £10,000 in her will to the National Gallery. The view shows the mighty Thames in all its glory. Lombardy’s iconic poplars stand like sentinels to a different world of hedgerow-fringed meadows and gentle hills. The sunlight reflects with a zest on the water as the river meanders around Henley’s distant bend in Marlow. Wooded glades lean in to touch the water’s edge in subtle tones, the upper clad in autumnal reds and oranges.
“A historic sight, seen through the eyes of countless generations and, above all, loved and cherished by Helen.”
• Gaila Adair: Across the British Landscape is at the Modern Artists Gallery, High Street, Whitchurch, RG8 7EX until 31 July.