South-West Prospect View of Lichfield

Image credit: Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum

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As in many paintings of this type, considerable artistic licence has been used. The presumed viewpoint is a high station to the west of the city (somewhere near the present-day Christ Church) which takes in a prospect of the city from the north side of the cathedral to Knowle Hill. Although crudely drawn, the picture is important for what it tells us of the city’s appearance at this period. The clearest part of the painting is the area around the Cathedral Close; the fortifications on its north side, the medieval Bishop’s palace (heavily damaged during the Civil War) and the West Gate. Little is known of the origin of this picture. From the clothes of the figures and the nature of the canvas it seems to belong to the second half of the seventeenth century and one or two clues confirm this date.

Lichfield Guildhall



South-West Prospect View of Lichfield


oil on canvas


H 105 x W 190 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift from Mr Thomas Adie, 1856

Work type



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Lichfield Guildhall

Bore Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 6LU England

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