Remembering Sarah Losh
The Chapel of rest at Wreay, near Carlisle in Cumbria, has been transformed into a heritage centre to honour Sarah Losh, the 19th-century architect and designer described by Simon Jenkins as ‘an individual genius, a Charlotte Brontë of wood and stone’. Sarah’s interest in architecture was awakened by a grand tour in 1815 and she was considered to be educated ‘far beyond the reach of her sex, and indeed of most men’. Losh saved the church at Wreay by donating land and funds, enriching it with ornaments and carvings, and she created the Chapel of rest as an exact copy of St Piran’s Oratory at Perranporth, Cornwall, which had just been uncovered by drifting sands and had received much coverage in the newspapers. When the artist rossetti saw her work, he wrote to his mother that Losh must have been a ‘great genius and should be better known’. Local groups, including the twelve Men of Wreay, a centuries-old charitable trust, have helped fund the project, in conjunction with the heritage Lottery Fund (www.stmaryswreay.org).