Edmund Blyth - Visions of a Cathedral

Hornbeam Avenue

Born in 1898, Edmund Blyth served in the infantry in World War I and suffered the loss of dear friends Arthur Bailey and John Bennett, who died in the March retreat of 1918. He wanted to create a lasting legacy for his comrades-in-arms who were no longer with him.

Edmund k. Blyth in his army uniform

Edmund initially purchased 2 cottages in Whipsnade, to be used as holiday homes for poor London families.

By 1930 another WWI comrade, Francis Holland had been killed in a car crash and Blyth felt that all his friends deserved something more worthy in their memory. That autumn, he and his wife drew his inspiration from a visit to the unfinished Liverpool Anglican Cathedral.

“This interested us very much, with the beauty of its design and the colouring and craftsmanship of its pink sandstone. As we talked of it we thought what a wonderful and inspiring thing it must be for the workers to be engaged on.”

“We talked of this as we drove south through the Cotswold Hills on our way home and it was while we were doing this that I saw the evening sun light up a coppice of trees on the side of a hill. It occurred to me then that here was something more beautiful still and the idea formed of building a cathedral with trees.” EK Blyth