Bayt Clarke: The "Somers-Clarke" house at el-Kab

The “Somers-Clarke” house at el-Kab

 


“Bayt Clarke”, a Mud Brick Masterpiece by the Nile.


Introduction.

At Elkab, one of the first and finest examples of Mud Brick building in Egypt can be found; “Bayt Clarke”. Home ánd burial place for British architect Somers Clarke.

Clarke (1841–1926) was best known for his construction and restoration of churches in Britain and his adherence to the principles of the Arts and Crafts movement. It is less well known, however, that he lived a parallel life in Egypt from 1890 until his death in 1926, working as an archaeologist and constructing a number of significant buildings here.

Clarke died in 1926, and was interred in a modest mud brick grave next to his home. Since 1937 the Belgian archaeological mission, working at Elkab, and latterly at the early rock art sites of Qurta and el-Hawsh, has occupied the house on a seasonal basis by agreement with the Antiquities Service to whom ownership of the house devolved upon Clarke’s death.

Today, we would like to present you with two articles about “Bayt Clarke”. Both written by Dr. Nicholas Warner.

Dr. Nicholas Warner is a consulting conservation architect who has worked in Egypt since 1993 on historic structures and archaeological sites of all periods. During this time he has participated in or directed numerous projects on behalf of the American Research Center in Egypt.

Besides presenting you with these articles, we would like to ask your (financial) help and invite you to participate in restoration, to ensure this important piece of Egypt’s heritage is not lost to the future.

There’s a link on this page, as well as at the bottom of each article to a document, called “Bayt Clarke, an appeal for restoration”, where you can find contact information for Dr. Nicholas Warner, Conservation Architect, and Dr. Dirk Huyge, Director of the Belgian Archaeological Mission to Elkab.

Marcel Maessen,
‘T Veld, the Netherlands,
July 2012


Documents:

Restoration appeal: An appeal for funding

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