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Lucy Abel Smith

13th September 2022

Lucy Abel Smith – The Old Rectory, Quenington


Lucy Abel Smith and her husband, David, are well known to the Friends for the Biennial fresh air sculpture exhibitions at their home in the old rectory. Indeed, some of the Friends enjoyed a delightful evening wandering around the gardens at Quenington, admiring the sculptures and drinking wine, earlier this summer.

So we’re delighted that Lucy has agreed to talk to us on 28th September, 7.30-8.30pm

Virus {Large} by Joanne Risley a photo taken at the recent visit to Fresh Air sculpture exhibition

Lucy’s life and home are clearly a source of interest to the media as evidenced by two articles brought up by a quick Google search. This 2009 article from Cotswold Life entitled A Breath of Fresh Air points out:

‘The Old Rectory in Quenington has just been declared one of England’s finest parsonages in a competition run by Country Life magazine. “My husband David is most put out that it didn’t win!” Lucy Abel Smith says. She’s joking, of course. Indeed, her wry humour constantly punctuates her entertaining conversation. There’s no denying, though, the pleasure the couple take in their beautiful home, where 16th century origins have gracefully accepted additions through the ages, right up to a 1930s extension by the local Arts and Crafts exponent, Thomas Falconer.

And then there’s this Guardian piece from 2019, The House that Dares to be Different. 

It explains:

‘… Set in a peaceful valley in Quenington, near Cirencester, the house, which has been in her family since 1928, has grown “haphazardly” over the centuries. The kitchen sits in the 17th-century wing while the south front was added in the 18th century.

A priest blessed with TEN children extended the house in the 1800s, and later, in the 1930s, the sister of Lucy’s mother-in-law bolted on the Arts and Crafts annexe. “It gave her something to do,” she (Lucy) remarks. Another relative left their mark by commissioning the influential interior designer Godfrey Bonsack to design the 1970s bathrooms with pink and amethyst baths. “Bonsack was the first to believe bathrooms should be comfortable and sexy, rather than just functional.

From Sculpture to Transylvania

As if living at Quenington Manor and organising fabulous fresh air sculpture weren’t enough, Lucy is involved with Reality and Beyond – a travel company – and the Transylvanian book festival as you do.

Don’t forget to check out the Friends’ blog. You’ll find that here:

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Date(s) - 28/09/2022
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm


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