The 13th century fortified manor house, Stokesay Castle, in Shropshire, was purchased and restored by John Derby Allcroft. Allcroft and his business partner John Dent made their fortune by virtual monopoly of glove manufacture.
Allcroft commissioned Leader to paint Stokesay Castle. The artist executed a number of versions which date from 1870 to 1877. This study relates to a larger finished work (Private Collection), also signed and dated 1872, although the viewpoint is from a different angle.
Leader's original signature appears in the lower right-hand-corner of this work. The bolder signature, in upper case, was probably added for a purchaser who demanded a clearer version. Perhaps Leader could not recall the exact year of its execution, which explains the further discrepancy between '1871' (lower right) and '1872' (lower left).
We are grateful to Ruth Wood for her help in preparing this catalogue entry.