C.E. Kempe & Co Ltd (1868-1934)

Charles Eamer Kempe (1837-1907) established his London Studio in 1868, specialising in the production of ecclesiastical furnishings, most notably stained glass, designed and made under his direction. Charles Eamer Kempe came from a wealthy Susses family and was educated at Rugby and then Pembroke College, Oxford, in the 1850s. His earliest artistic works were the painted walls, ceilings and woodwork in churches during the 1860s, mostly in association with the architect G.F. Bodley. Kempe employed a series of senior designers, Wyndham Hope Hughes, John Carter, and John Lisle, under whom his style developed, and his stained glass was made at his own glassworks under the direction of Alfred Tombleson. The Studio’s designers also worked on other church furnishings, such as reredoses and screens, which were often executed by the Sussex firm of Norman & Burt, as well as embroidery for altar frontals and vestments. Kempe left the firm to his cousin (three times removed) Walter Tower, and the firm was reconstituted as C.E. Kempe & Co. Ltd, after which the emblem used by Kempe, the wheatsheaf, had a tower added to it. The retention of Kempe’s designer John Lisle until his death in 1927, and of Tombleson until the closure of the firm in 1934, ensured that the style of the firm’s founder remained largely unchanged.

Website for the Kempe Trust

Further reading

Adrian Barlow, Espying Heaven: The Stained Glass of Charles Eamer Kempe and his Artists (Cambridge: Lutterworth Press, 2019).

Margaret Stavridi, 'John William Lisle (1870–1927)' Journal of the British Society of Master Glass-Painters, vol. xvi, no. 3 (1979–80), 54–60.

Adrian Barlow, Kempe: The Life, Art and Legacy of Charles Eamer Kempe (Cambridge: Lutterworth Press, 2018).

Margaret Stavridi, Master of Glass: Charles Eamer Kempe 1837-1907 (Hatfield: John Taylor Books, 1988).

Philip Collins, The Corpus of Kempe Stained Glass in the UK and Ireland (Kempe Trust, 2000).

Martin Harrison, Victorian Stained Glass (London: 1980), pp. 46–7, 71–3 and further references.

Martin Harrison, 'Wyndham Hughes, C. E. Kempe and the Late Gothic Revival' The Journal of Stained Glass, vol. xviii, no. 3 (1988), 273–4.




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Your search found 110 results.
  The Crucifixion with Panels from the Seven Sacraments The Crucifixion with Panels from the Seven Sacraments
restorer: C.E. Kempe
about 1500, restored in 1876
Church of St Tyrnog, Llandyrnog, Denbighshire
east wall of the north nave
  St Paul and St John the Baptist St Paul and St John the Baptist
firm/studio: C.E. Kempe
designer: probably Wyndham Hope Hughes
1877
Church of St Tyrnog, Llandyrnog, Denbighshire
west wall of the north nave
  The Annunciation The Annunciation
firm/studio: C.E. Kempe
designer: Wyndham Hope Hughes
1877
Church of St Tyrnog, Llandyrnog, Denbighshire
north wall of the chancel
  Choir of Angels Choir of Angels
firm/studio: C.E. Kempe
designer: Wyndham Hope Hughes
1879
Church of St Cadoc, Llangattock-Vibon-Avel, Monmouthshire
west wall of the nave
  St Michael and St Gabriel St Michael and St Gabriel
firm/studio: C.E. Kempe
1882
Church of St Mary the Virgin, Monmouth, Monmouthshire
south wall of the south aisle
  Figures from the Bible and Saints Figures from the Bible and Saints
firm/studio: C.E. Kempe
1883
Church of All Saints, Newbridge-on-Wye
sanctuary apse
  Musical Angels Musical Angels
firm/studio: C.E. Kempe
1883
Church of All Saints, Newbridge-on-Wye
south wall of the nave
  The Four Rivers of Paradise The Four Rivers of Paradise
firm/studio: C.E. Kempe
1883
Church of St Mary the Virgin, Monmouth, Monmouthshire
baptistry
  Saints Saints
firm/studio: C.E. Kempe
1884
Church of St Cadoc, Llangattock-Vibon-Avel, Monmouthshire
south wall of the south transept
  Christ with the Twelve Apostles Christ with the Twelve Apostles
firm/studio: C.E. Kempe
1884
Church of St Mary the Virgin, Monmouth, Monmouthshire
east wall of the chancel




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