The presentation of a Dartington Crystal bowl precedes The Charles Kingsley Bicentenary Celebration which is planned to begin in June 2019, and will include talks, exhibitions and activities at the Visitor Centre and the Kingsley Museum in Clovelly.
The piece was presented by Richard Halliday, commercial director of Dartington Crystal, to commemorate the bicentenary of the famed writer, who authored classics such as Westward Ho! And The Water Babies.
Richard said: “It is a great honour for Dartington to make and present this magnificent bowl for Clovelly in celebration of Kingsley’s work.
“This will be a reminder to all the visitors of Clovelly of a latter-day artist being recognised by modern-day artists.”
The Hon. John Rous, owner of Clovelly Estate, said of the great writer: “Charles Kingsley was a deep thinker and a great novelist and he had a life-long association with North Devon which we’re very proud of.”
He also thanked the makers of the bowl, when he said: “We’re very lucky to have Dartington Crystal in North Devon, for visitors and for the production of stylish and beautifully-designed crystal.”
The bowl was engraved by Dartington Crystal master engraver Nick Davey, and showed Kingsley himself alongside a ship and a depiction of characters from The Water Babies, the novel he wrote in Down-a-Long Cottage, Clovelly.
Kingsley lived in Clovelly during his childhood, and returned many times during his later life.
It is said he even used the fishing village as inspiration to write The Water Babies, the children’s book which remained popular decades after its release in 1863.
However, Clovelly isn’t the only North Devon location Kingsley used during his writing career.
So much did he love the sights of North Devon that the author rented a house at the end of the Strand (now Stella Maris Court), Bideford, when writing best-seller Westward Ho!
The book was so successful that readers flocked to the riverside town to see the real sites used by Kingsley, effectively starting Bideford’s tourism industry.