Anthony Eric Giles 1925 – 1994

Clay Wagons, Burngullow’ by Anthony Eric Giles 1984
Clay Wagons, Burngullow 1984 Mixed Media, Tony Giles Cornwall County Schools Art Collection
January 1991, 50008 Thunderer comes off the Drinnick Mill line at Burngullow Junction with the Pathfinder Tours 1Z16 ‘Cornish Centurion’ railtour (Martin Loader’s Railway Photographs)

Tony Giles was born in Taunton and loved trains from early childhood. His father was an engine driver and Tony delighted in travelling in the leading carriage from Taunton to Penzance. This painting is taken from the bridge at Burngullow Junction. It is near St Austell on the mainline to Plymouth where a line branches off to Drinnick Mill to the China Clay Works and is well documented by railway enthusiasts.

William Cookworthy
Clay wagons can leave the branch line and enter the Burngullow storage area to await a path to Par docks. These are being pulled by William Cookworthy named after the man who found China Clay in Cornwall. Copyright Sid Sponheimer

It is interesting to see the photograph taken from the same spot: the bridge on the right.

Boats in Harbour Tony Giles
Boats in Harbour by Tony Giles (

On leaving school Tony Giles worked as a cartographic draughtsman for the Admiralty Hydrographic Office for 18 years during which time he taught himself to paint. In 1961 he moved to St Agnes in Cornwall where he was soon recognized as a powerful landscape painter. He continued to be inspired by man-made landscapes throughout his life.

Bedruthan Steps Tony Giles
Bedruthan Steps by Tony Giles (

Many of his landscapes move towards the abstract but he maintains a strong sense of place. The forms of the landscape are simplified and blocked often contrasted with brilliant light. The feel and character of the subject becomes far more important than traditional perspective and realism.

Landscape In Grey by Tony Giles (

Landscape in Grey and Wheal Music in particular are reminiscent of the work of Peter Lanyon in their sweeping lines, views from above and, in the latter, the womb-like forms.

Wheal Music Tony Giles
Wheal Music by Tony Giles (

In the painting below, Tony Giles is looking down on Porthtowan from the ruins of the  tin mining industry. It is enfolded by the valley sides, protected from the sea. Today his reputation continues to grow as his work becomes increasingly valued by collectors. For other information about Burngullow:


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