For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are the instructions how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.
Works James Moore and Thomas Girtin

The West Tower, All Saints' Church, Hastings


Primary Image: TG0227: James Moore (1762–99) and Thomas Girtin (1775–1802), The West Tower, All Saints' Church, Hastings, 1795, graphite on wove paper, 22 × 17.5 cm, 8 ⅝ × 6 ⅞ in. Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford (WA1916.20.16).

Photo courtesy of Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford (All Rights Reserved)

James Moore (1762-1799) and Thomas Girtin (1775-1802)
  • The West Tower, All Saints' Church, Hastings
Medium and Support
Graphite on wove paper
22 × 17.5 cm, 8 ⅝ × 6 ⅞ in

'Augt. 6th. 95' lower right, by James Moore; 'All Saints Church, Hastings' on the mount, lower left, by James Moore

Object Type
Collaborations; Outline Drawing
Subject Terms
Gothic Architecture: Parish Church; Sussex View

Catalogue Number
Description Source(s)
Viewed in 2016


James Moore (1762–99); his widow, Mary Moore (née Howett) (d.1835); bequeathed to Anne Miller (1802–90); bequeathed to Edward Mansel Miller (1829–1912); bequeathed to Helen Louisa Miller (1842–1915); bought and presented anonymously to the Museum, 1916


Brown, 1982, p.470, no.1404 as 'All Saints' Church, Hastings' by James Moore

About this Work

This pencil drawing by Girtin’s first significant patron, the antiquarian and amateur artist James Moore (1762–99), was made on the third and final tour he undertook to record the medieval castles and churches of Sussex. It is contained in an album assembled from fifty-three drawings that were acquired by the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, from Moore’s descendants after 1912. They were catalogued by David Brown as being by Moore himself, but Brown added a note to one of the drawings, a view of St Clement’s Church, Hastings (TG0304), suggesting that Girtin may also have ‘taken a hand’ in the drawing (Brown, 1982, p.471). I think it is possible to go a step further and propose that, given perhaps half of the drawings in the album are significantly stronger than Moore’s generally unconvincing sketches (see source image TG0114), the professional artist had a ‘hand’ in many more of his patron’s outline drawings. In this case, such is the contrast in quality, particularly in the architectural details, that it is clear that the drawing has been corrected and enhanced by a superior draughtsman working over Moore’s sketch with a sharper and more richly toned piece of graphite. This sketch of the early fifteenth-century west tower of All Saints’ Church is dated ‘Augt 6th. 95’ and is typical of the way in which Moore’s tentative outlines have been firmed up, his faulty perspective corrected and an exuberant level of decorative detail added. The manner in which the artist varies the pressure applied to the graphite to introduce subtle variations in tone, even within the same line, is typical of Girtin’s fine draughtsmanship, and it was surely he who elaborated Moore’s view of the tower from below to create an imposing composition and an attractive drawing well beyond the amateur’s capabilities.

Moore produced another similar view of All Saints (TG0245) and a close variation (TG0297). Thomas Girtin (1874–1960) and David Loshak believed that Girtin actually accompanied Moore on his 1795 trip to Sussex and the ‘Cinque Ports region’ (Girtin and Loshak, 1954, p.28), but that now seems very unlikely, and all of his views of the county were presumably either made after his patron’s sketches or, as here, elaborated from drawings on the amateur’s return to London.

(?) 1795

St Clement’s Church, with Hastings in the Distance


1792 - 1793

The Albion Mills, Southwark, after the Fire


(?) 1795

All Saints’ Church, Hastings, from the North East


(?) 1795

All Saints’ Church, Hastings, from the North West


by Greg Smith

Place depicted

Revisions & Feedback

The website will be updated from time to time and, when changes are made, a PDF of the previous version of each page will be archived here for consultation and citation.

Please help us to improve this catalogue

If you have information, a correction or any other suggestions to improve this catalogue, please contact us.