Lionel Lea Townley BIRCH

Lionel Lea Townley BIRCH

Born in 1858 at Bramshall, nr Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, Lionel and his wife Constance Mary BIRCH built their own home 'La Pietra' in Newlyn. The artist assisted with tuition in the early days of the Forbes School of Painting. Crozier (1904) noted: "An important feature of student life at Newlyn is the sketching class, which meets on three afternoons a week, under the able direction of Mr Lionel Birch, himself an artist of no mean repute and a frequent exhibitor at the Royal Academy."   

Birch also served as the Vicar's Senior Warden at St Peter's Church, Newlyn, and wrote a feature for the Parish Magazine called 'Notes from the Studios'. In the NAG exhibitions over the years he exhibited well, and in October 1898 sold two paintings to the Bonham Carter family staying at the Queens Hotel in Penzance. The couple moved to Whimple in about 1911, and later Ottery St Mary in Devon. He died, age 71, on April 16, 1930, in Ewell, near Epsom, Surrey (GRO), his wife having predeceased him.


Landscape painter in oils and watercolour; sketcher

works and access

Works include: Pasture Land; Ifold Woods (1895); Rats (1896); A Pond in Picardy; Blue Sky & East Wind; The House on the Marsh (1896); A Hunting We Will Go (1896); A Sunny Evening (1909)




RA 1897-1916

NAG 1895-1909

Whitechapel 1902


NSA from 1895 (Founding Management Committee 1896)


Cornish Telegraph 25 Mar 1909

Bednar (3rd ed)

Crozier (Nov 1904) 'The Newlyn School of Painting' Girls Realm (repr in Hardie (2009)

Green (1995) Artists at Home

            (2002) Posing the Model;

Hardie (1995) 100 Years in Newlyn: Diary of a Gallery;

             (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall

Johnson & Greutzner (1975) Dictionary of British Artists

NAG Sales Records (See Hardie 2009 p54)

Tovey, David (2022) Lamorna - An Artistic, Social and Literary History - Volume I - Pre-1920, Wilson Books

Whitechapel Exhibition catalogue (See Hardie 2009 pp61-4)

Wood (1995) Victorian Painters