Photograph albums of Alfred Capel Cure, 1850-1856

Processed by Jane Carpenter with assistance from Simon Elliott; machine-readable finding aid created by Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library Special Collections
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
© 2013
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Photograph albums of Alfred Capel Cure
Date (inclusive): 1850-1856
Collection number: 94/22
Creator: Capel Cure, Alfred, 1826-1896, photographer.
Physical Description: 2 albums (ca. 300 photographic prints) : salt paper, ambrotype ; 33-34 x 26-29 cm (albums)

Photographs are mounted on leaves of white paper, with ms. captions indicating date, location, and other subject information. A numbered list of the photographs in Vol. 2, in the same hand, is affixed to inside back cover of the album.

Vol. 1 half-bound in brown leather and marbled paper boards, with gilt rules along corner pieces and backstrip; rebacked spine, with original black leather spine label preserved, bearing gold-stamped title "Photographs." Vol. 2 is half-bound in green leather and scuffed green marbled boards, with ornamental embossed borders along corner pieces and backstrip; spine rebacked, with gold-stamped spine title "Album of Alfred Capel Cure. 2." Capel Cure's engraved bookplate, with his crest and motto ("Fais que doit arrive que pourra") on front pastedown. Bookplate of C.K. Ogden in upper left-hand corner of front pastedown.

Spec. Coll. copy: each album housed in its own modern beige cloth clamshell box with velcro closure; box titles in black: "Photographic Experiments" (v. 1) and "Album of Alfred Capel Cure" (v. 2).
Abstract: Early photographs of castles and country houses, landscapes, and portraits in England, Gibraltar, and Ireland, taken between 1850 and 1856 taken by Alfred Capel Cure.
Language: Finding aid is written in English.
Language of the Material: Materials are in English.
Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Photograph albums of Alfred Capel Cure (Collection 94/22). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

UCLA Catalog Record ID

UCLA Catalog Record ID: 4233582 


Alfred Capel Cure was an officer in the British Army, and an early pioneer of photography. His uncle, the painter and photographer Robert Henry Cheney (1800-1866), taught him photography, and in 1850, Capel Cure began making salt prints of architectural subjects--manor houses, cathedrals, abbeys, and churches. Capel Cure was initially commissioned into the 55th Regiment of Foot, and later, as a member of the Grenadier Guards, he fought in the Crimean War, where he was wounded in the attack on the Redan at Sebastopol. He attained the ranks of Lieutenant-Colonel (1858) and Colonel (1863). Capel Cure died July 29, 1896, in an accidental explosion while dynamiting tree roots in his park.

Scope and Content

Volume 1, with ms. title "Photographic Experiments, 1850-1851," contains some of Capel Cure's earliest photographs of medieval manor houses and castles in the English countryside, particularly Derbyshire, Shropshire, Sussex, and Hertfordshire, many of which have long since been demolished. Included in Vol. 1 are views of Stokesay Castle, Wenlock Abbey, Badger Hall (Capel Cure's family home), Millichope Park, and Chetwynd Park in Shropshire; Ashridge and Down Hall in Hertfordshire; Stoke Edith and Hereford Cloister in Hereford parish; Darley Abbey Hall, the paper mill in Darley, and Duffield Bridge in Derbyshire; Powis Castle, with its distinctive terraced gardens, located in Powys, Mid Wales; Shrubland Hall in Suffolk; and Holland House, Kensington, London. Vol. 2 contains photographs taken between 1850 and 1856, many of them views of British Army garrisons and barracks in Gibraltar and Ireland. Photographs from 1851-1852 include several views of Casemate Barracks from the Montague Cavalier station at the British garrison in Gibraltar, some with uniformed fellow soldiers in the shot, as well as several views of Capel Cure's summer house in Gibraltar. There are many photographs from 1853 and 1854 of the British barracks at Roscrea, Templemore, Athlone, and Shannonbridge in Ireland, and portraits of soldiers stationed there, many of whom served with Capel Cure in the 55th Regiment of Foot, and later, in the Grenadier Guards. He has noted in some of captions which comrades were killed, when, and where (Crimean War--Balaklava, The Alma--1854). Capel Cure also photographed civilians around the barracks, such as a knife grinder, barracks gate boy, chimney sweep, rag boy, and beggars, and included many views of nearby landmarks, such as Corville Abbey, Rosecrea (1853), the Rock of Cashel, Cashel Cathedral, King Cormac's Chapel, Culdee Chapel and Round Tower in Clonmacnoise on the River Shannon south of Athlone (1853), and Loughmoe Abbey just south of Templemore (1854). There are also numerous views of Badger Hall, photographed with family, friends, and dogs "Pharaoh", "Jet", and "Flush", during 1854; and several portraits of the photographer himself. The photographs dated 1856 include a series of shots of Exeter Cathedral, and Greenstead Church (the oldest wooden church in the world), Bovinger Church, Blake Hall in Essex, and Battle Abbey and Pevensey Castle in Sussex. Capel Cure's experiments with photography are evident in two views of Roscrea Castle from 1852: one made with a single lens, the other with a double lens. He also identifies two ambrotypes he made in 1854, using the collodion wet plate process.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


Capel Cure, Alfred, 1826-1896 --Photographs.
Capel Cure, Alfred, 1826-1896 --Homes and haunts --Photographs.
Great Britain. Army --Barracks and quarters --Photographs.
Great Britain. Army --Military life --Photographs.
Great Britain. Army. Regiment of Foot, 55th (Westmorland)
Exeter Cathedral --Photographs.
Architecture, Medieval --England --Photographs.
Architecture, Domestic --England --Photographs.
Country homes --England --Photographs.
Derbyshire (England) --Photographs.
Shropshire (England) --Photographs.
Hertfordshire (England) --Photographs.
Suffolk (England) --Photographs.
Sussex (England) --Photographs.
Gibraltar --Photographs.
Ireland --Photographs.
Templemore (Ireland) --Photographs.
Athlone (Ireland) --Photographs.
Rosecrea (Ireland) --Photographs.

Genres and Forms of Material

Salted paper photographic prints --England --1850-1856.
Salted paper photographic prints --Gibraltar --1850-1856.
Salted paper photographic prints --Ireland --1850-1856.
Photographs --England --1850-1856.
Photographs --Gibraltar --1850-1856.
Photographs --Ireland --1850-1856.
Ambrotypes --England --1854.
Photograph albums --England --1850-1856.

Other Index Terms Related to this Collection

Ogden, C. K. (Charles Kay), 1889-1957, former owner.

Related Material

Part of the Photograph Album Collection (Collection 94)   in UCLA Library Special Collections.
Additional information and images of photographs by Alfred Capel Cure (1856-1860) and Robert Henry Cheney (1850s) at the website of the Centre Canadien d'Architecture / Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA)   in Montréal, Québec.