The Arthur Legge Collection

Arthur Legge was a prolific painter, usually in watercolours and he prepared his work with detailed pencil sketches. Many of his paintings of buildings and locations of Finchingfield are recognisable today and he painted many scenes of farming activities, windmills and village folk. In particular there are two important paintings of the Guildhall painted in the early 1900s.

Arthur Legge lived in ‘Two Gables’ in Vicarage Road, Finchingfield. Today this house is known as ‘Cabbaches’. Born in 1859, Arthur Legge married Emily Reynolds and he became Head of West Ham School of Art in 1899. 

Having purchased Cabbaches previously, Arthur Legge retired to live in the village in 1918. Many of his paintings of the village pre-date this however, reflecting his long knowledge of Finchingfield and other villages nearby. His wife Emily was from Steeple Bumpstead.  His love of Finchingfield was passed on to his children, particularly Phyllis Legge who led the restoration of the Guildhall in the 1950s. Phyllis was also an artist and she taught art at St Martin’s School of Art in London. She painted a map of the village that is on display in the Guildhall and she remained living in Cabbaches all her life.

Arthur Legge designed Finchingfield’s War Memorial which is so prominent on our village green.

Arthur Legge died in 1942 and is buried in the graveyard in Finchingfield church where other members of his family also rest.

The Guildhall holds a collection of Arthur Legge’s paintings and copies of some of these are displayed in the museum.