The Weald of Kent, Surrey and Sussex
About the site
E-mail
 
 
Site search
Ashdown Forest Brasted Burwash Buxted Chevening Chiddingly Chiddingstone Cowden Cranbrook Crowborough East Grinstead
East Hoathly Edenbridge Eridge Fletching Forest Row Framfield Frant Goudhurst Groombridge Hadlow Hailsham
Hartfield Hawkhurst Heathfield Hellingly Herstmonceux Hever Hildenborough Horsted Keynes Isfield Lamberhurst Laughton
Leigh Little Horsted Maresfield Mayfield Penshurst Rotherfield Rusthall Sevenoaks Southborough Speldhurst Ticehurst
Tonbridge Tunbridge Wells Uckfield Wadhurst Waldron Warbleton Westerham West Hoathly Withyham Worth More places
Census Documents
Genealogy Maps
Pictures People of note
Places of interest
Wilsley House [als Old Wilsley] House  Wilsley Green  Waterloo Road  Cranbrook  

Books and other documents
PublishedTitle, author and references
1933Country Houses of Kent by Arthur Oswald ⇒ p. 27

Historical records

1860HistoryWilsley House [als Old Wilsley] House

George Bernard O'Neill was born on 17th July 1828 in Dublin the ninth of fifteen children of Bernard and Sarah O'Neill. The O'Neills left Ireland in the late 1830s and settled at Woolwich Arsenal in Kent where Bernard O'Neill was an Ordnance storekeeper. George studied art at the Royal Academy Schools where he started exhibiting in 1847 at the age of 19 and his career as an artist took off when he submitted "The Foundling" to the 1852 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. In 1857 he married Emma Stuart Callcott and over the next twelve years she bore him seven children. In 1863 the O'Neills leased "Old Wilsley" in Cranbrook as a summer residence next door to Emma's cousin the painter John Callcott Horsley - both George and John being attracted to the artist colony being formed in Cranbrook. The O'Neills remained there until 1886, making many changes to the residence and laying out the gardens.

Frederick Daniel Hardy, George Hardy, Thomas Webster, George Bernard O'Neill, John Callcott Horsley and Augustus Edwin Mulready were an informal group of six professional painters known as the Cranbrook Colony that thrived in Cranbrook in the latter half of the nineteenth century. They were a close association of colleagues and friends, and, in the case of the Hardy brothers and G.B. O'Neill, distant relatives. All six were "Genre" painters depicting scenes from daily life, either real or imaginary and, through their work, we have an accurate depiction of the people and homes in the Cranbrook area during the Victorian age. Often the Colony used their children, families and friends as models with the Hardys and Webster focused on rustic interiors and O'Neill and Horsley on picturesque historic architecture. The six painters, who occupied The Old Studio in the High Street, were prolific in their work and exhibited extensively at the Royal Academy and the British Institution.

George continued to work as a painter into the twentieth century in London where he died at the age of 89 on 23rd September 1917


1871PurchasedLieut-Col. Boyd Francis AlexanderWilsley

3rd Apr 1881CensusJames Price, M, Head, married, age 53, born Cranbrook, Kent; occupation: gardenerJames Price, gardenerOld Willesley1881 Census
Cranbrook, Kent
3rd Apr 1881CensusAnn Price, F, Wife, married, age 52, born Blackheath, KentAnn Price

1899AddressLieut-Col. Boyd Francis AlexanderWilsley

30th Jul 1905Deathaged 62 yearsMary Alexander [Wilson]WilsleyProbate Registry of England and Wales

Apr to June 1911Grantedas a wedding present from his fatherHerbert Alexander, artistWilsley House [als Old Wilsley] House

19th Aug 1917DeathLieut-Col. Boyd Francis AlexanderWilsleyProbate Registry of England and Wales

1920Wilsley House, Cranbrook - built by a Wealden clothierWilsley House, Cranbrook - built by a Wealden clothier photographed by Country LifeCountry Houses

1920Wilsley House, Cranbrook - the hallWilsley House, Cranbrook - the hall photographed by Country LifeCountry Houses

1920Wilsley House, Cranbrook - the painted roomWilsley House, Cranbrook - the painted room photographed by Country LifeCountry Houses

1920The South Gable, Wilsley HouseThe South Gable, Wilsley House, Cranbrookreproduced with the permission of Country Life

1920The East Front, Wilsley HouseThe East Front, Wilsley House, Cranbrookreproduced with the permission of Country Life

1920The North Gable, Wilsley HouseThe North Gable, Wilsley House, Cranbrookreproduced with the permission of Country Life

1920In the gardens, Wilsley HouseIn the gardens, Wilsley House, Cranbrookreproduced with the permission of Country Life

1920The Hall, Wilsley HouseThe Hall, Wilsley House, Cranbrookreproduced with the permission of Country Life

1920Bedroom in the Eastern Block, Wilsley HouseBedroom in the Eastern Block, Wilsley House, Cranbrookreproduced with the permission of Country Life

1920The Parlour, Wilsley HouseThe Parlour, Wilsley House, Cranbrookreproduced with the permission of Country Life
The Weald is at  Database version 10.7 which has ongoing updates to the 371,515 people; 9,000 places; 613 maps; 3,136 pictures, engravings and photographs; and 231 books loaded in the previous version © The Weald and its contributors
Fasthosts web site ODNB British Libarary High Weald ESCIS Sussex Family History Group Sussex Record Society Sussex Archaeological Society Kent Archaeological Society Mid Kent Marriages Ancestry Genes Reunited International Genealogical Index National Archives
Top
of the
page
Fasthosts
web
site
Oxford
Dictionary
of National
Biography
British
Libarary
The High
Weald
East Sussex
Community
Information
Service
Sussex
Family
History
Group
Sussex
Record
Society
Sussex
Archaeological
Society
Kent
Archaeological
Society
David Hills
and
Gary
Samson
Ancestry Genes
Reunited
International
Genealogical
Index
National
Archives