Contact details:


Please contact Julia Sorrell:


Tel: 01953 498736





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Talks about the life and work of Alan Sorrell:

Alan Sorrell and the Lost Land of Nubia
An Artists Quest to draw the monuments and villages

 of a drowning land


Based on the artists’ own unpublished memoir “Last Boat to Nubia”

presented by Ian Sanders

In 1962 Alan Sorrell was at the pinnacle of his career, the official archaeological artist for the Illustrated London News as well as the then Ministry of Works, his illustrations of our heritage appearing in books, magazines, newspapers as well on postcards and prints displayed at our best known heritage sites.


At the same time with the help of Russian money and engineers, the largest of all dams was being built on the greatest of all rivers, and whole of the ancient land of Nubia was to be flooded to create Lake Nasser.


The Egyptian minister of culture, Dr Okasha launched an international appeal for help to save many of the famous monuments and the greatest of all Unesco heritage recue missions was initiated. international teams of archaeologists worked to uncover the secrets of a region whilst their was still time.


The legendary editor of the Illustrated London News, Sir Bruce Ingrams sent Alan Sorrell off to draw the monuments, but the artist was fired up with the injustice about to be served on a gentle people whose ancient villages and culture was about to be lost forever.



Many know Alan Sorrell for his archaeological reconstruction drawings produced for the Illustrated London News, the then Ministry of Works, and many other museums, books etc.. He worked with many of the famous names of British archaeology such as Sir Mortimer Wheeler, Cyril and Aileen Fox and Nash-Williams, who had a huge respect for him and his work. Many were personal friends. Several of the next generation of archaeologists and historians have said they were inspired by his work when young and it influenced their choice of career. They then go on to ask Julia about who was the man behind these images so characterised by their dark stormy clouds, dramatic landscapes, bustling people and horses rearing. This talk, and her article to be printed in British Archaeology October 12th 2012 is her response to this request.


It is illustrated with examples of his work in many public collections such as English Heritage and the Imperial War Museum, as well as sketchbook working drawings and a few photographs that  have survived.  Julia is very grateful to the help many organisations who have provided copy of so many of Alan Sorrell’s best known works, as well as some which will be less familiar. The talk is a passionate appreciation by a daughter of a remarkable man.

Alan Sorrell


 “The Man who Created Roman Britain”


By Julia Sorrell

Written and presented  by Ian Sanders

Alan Sorrell (1904-74) is best known for his Neo-romantic reconstruction paintings of monuments throughout Britain. Less well known is his work as a war artist and his secret work for the RAF terrain model making unit and in airfield camouflage, all of which influenced his post-war career. Remembered and hugely respected by archaeologists, he has been recently described as a remarkable, oddly original and shamefully neglected artist (Andrew Lambirth, The Spectator).

Image: RAF Hut (1943)

Alan Sorrell - The Artist of the RAF

The Sorrell Family

Life and Art

Written and presented  by  Julia Sorrell



From 1947 until 1991, the Sorrell family resided in a converted chapel in south-east Essex formally belonging to an obscure sect The Peculiar People. Both parents Alan and Elizabeth were well established and respected artists. Two of the children Richard and Julia became artists, Mark became a writer. For Julia, such a childhood was a normal way of life, but perhaps for the outsider, it was out of sink with normality and perhaps rather peculiar!.

Julia will take you on a not too serious look at her upbringing, it’s attitudes and the remarkable creative spirit it engendered.