To those who have no idea who or what made Ammon Wrigley famous there is a prompt in that at the entrance to Uppermill at Wade Lock in the Museum Gardens there is a statue to the very man which appropriately proclaims on a plaque that it is a memorial to ‘Ammon Wrigley 1861-1946 Poet and Historian’.
He could however also lay claim to many other things, including being an amateur archaeologist, having been involved in early excavations at Castleshaw Roman Camp and a collector of flints etc., of the moors.
This article isn’t meant to be a biography of the person, as that is well written elsewhere, such as in the wonderful book ‘With Ammon Wrigley in Saddleworth’ by Sam Seville published by the Saddleworth Historical Society, which is still available.
I have however always felt strongly that there is another aspect of Ammon’s work that has never been celebrated and that is Ammon Wrigley as an artist. In his prolific output of books and poems he produced many illustrations to accompany his works and these are very accomplished in their own right.
Interestingly the museum has two framed seascapes by Ammon in its collection, so his artistic talent must have gone beyond pure illustrative, so what else is out there waiting to be discovered.
In all these works the ones I love most are where he has attempted to capture Saddleworth at night under the moon a difficult subject to capture for an artist but one reflecting the fact that Ammon Wrigley enjoyed walking the landscape in the peace of the night.
The Museum is very fortunate in having in its collection a number of these original works by Ammon and they are wonderful to study and reflect that these were handled by the man himself.
The Independent can claim this is the first time Ammon has been appreciated for his artistic creativity and maybe if enough works could be put together it would present an interesting exhibition.
If you like the idea of putting a collection of Ammon Wrigley’s work together, contact Peter Fox at Saddleworth Museum: 01457 874093.