Ernest Heasman - 1874-1927

Stained glass artist who lived and worked in Harpenden from 1906

Ernest Heasman – Self-portrait

Ernest Heasman was born on 15th February 1874 in Linfield, Sussex. At the age of 16 he joined C E Kempe & Co, stained glass manufacturers. In 1897 he was awarded a six-month scholarship to study in Italy and on his return the Worshipful Company of Painters awarded him a medal for the work he had done during his tour. He gained a scholarship to study at the Slade from 1899 to 1900, while continuing to work for Kempe & Co. He is best known as a stained glass artist. He moved to Harpenden, where he lived lived in a house on East Common from 1905/6 (Kelly’s directory lists him there in 1906. In 1912 he moved to 21 East Common, which he named Nedneprah, in which he had a Studio and his wife Ernestine a Music Room (as described in her Memories of her Father by their second daughter Hilda Strickland).

By this time he had moved to work for Herbert Bryans & Co as their chief draftsman. During the First World War when stained glass work was virtually at a standstill he worked in a jam factory in Redbourn, returning to Bryans in 1920, before leaving to work from his own Studio. He died on 26th July 1927, after an illness lasting nearly two years.

In 1984/1985 Hilda Strickland deposited many of his papers and some of his works in The Victoria and Albert Museum. Information on his career has been drawn from the following website link to extracts from Guide to the Archive of Art and Design, Victoria & Albert Museum edited by Elizabeth Lomas – =

According to the Tesselations website (, Ernest Heasman also created a small number of hand painted tiles utilising stained glass enamels and his glass kiln. Most of these were produced to commission.

In 1924 Heasman was commissioned to design the windows for the Music Room of Paddockhurst House, nr Crawley, Sussex – now part of the Catholic community of Worth Abbey.  This link illustrates Heasman’s work there:

Comments about this page

  • Some of Ernest Heasman’s ceramic tiles can be found in Batford Methodist Church. 8 of them make up a memorial plaque to those servicemen who died in WW1.

    By Peter Bigg (09/12/2013)
  • This is such an exciting discovery! Shepherd Arnold, who features amongst Heasman’s work reproduced here, I have discovered to be my Gt Gt Grandfather. I would love to be able to view the painting in person so please can you tell me where the LHS archives are to be found-assuming they are accessible to the public? A note on the website about the archive’s location would be helpful, I think, for the benefit of others interest in Heasman’ s work.

    Ed. We not know the location of the original painting, but we have files with copies of drawings, paintings and ceramic designs in our archives. These are not open to the public, but can be seen by arrangement – please contact us.

    By Graham Arnold (08/10/2013)

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