Alice Marcon, née Dryden (1866-1956)
Alice was born at Canons Ashby in Northamptonshire in 1866. She was the daughter of the local landowner and antiquary Sir Henry Dryden (1818-1899). Alice developed a keen interest in the past and took up photography as a hobby.
Alice wrote for, and edited, a number of publications, including books on local English memorials, traditional lace making and the history of English counties, some of which were illustrated with her own photographs. She also founded and was Honorary Secretary of the Northamptonshire Home Arts and Industries Association.
The Historic England Archive has 114 of Alice’s photographic prints. The majority focus on the historic buildings of Northamptonshire. Other counties, including Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, are also represented.
Alice travelled from place to place in a dog cart and took great pride in the quality of her work. Between 1941 and 1943 she donated prints to the National Buildings Record and wrote:
The photos I send you are not rubbish as myself and others have used many of them for illustrations. The Editor of The Architectural Review once praised some I showed him.
Alice’s photographs are an excellent record of rural and village life in the later years of the 19th century.
The Archive currently holds 114 of Alice’s prints which were donated to the National Buildings Record by her in the 1940s, alongside other images she collected. All of her images are now available to view online.