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Harmer Terracottas

(1799AD - 1839AD )

Harmer Teracotta Jonathan Harmer was the son of a Heathfield stonemason, who used his skills as a potter to enhance his fathers gravestones.

Jonathan created a method of attaching terracotta plaques to gravestones or tombs, which has enabled some of them to last for 200 years.

Before After The method he devised was to cut the outline of the terracotta into the stone, then cut about 3/4 inch deeper into the stone creating a cavity. The terracotta plaque of the same or slightly thicker depth was made, then the plaque was glued into the cavity using a mortar.

He took over the family firm in 1799, and from then till 1819 he added these unusual terracotta bas-reliefs to a large number of local grave stones. The plaques were made using the local clay from Heathfield Park.

The colours of the plaques vary from cream to red, and feature such designs as cherubs, vases and baskets of fruit.

Jonathan died in 1839, and the manufacture of the plaques and secret of the mortar used to fix them died with him.

We have many in the East Sussex area - Ashburnham (4), Brightling (1), Burwash (4), Cade Street (6), Chiddingly (1), East Hoathly (2 see note), Glynde (1), Old Heathfield (1), Hailsham (1), Hellingly (3), Herstmonceux (8), Salehurst (5), Wadhurst (1), Waldron (2), Warbleton (2)
and in Kent at Brookland (1) and Lamberhurst (2).

For futher details on the Harmer Family, The Harmer Family Association have a genealogical site at

This is our current photographic Record of all the
Harmer Terracottas we have found in the Area

ashburnham-2-991227.jpg (7693 bytes) ashburnham-3-991227.jpg (6451 bytes) ashburnham-4-991227.jpg (8073 bytes)
Ashburnham (1) Ashburnham (2) Ashburnham (3) Ashburnham (4)
burwash-harmer1.jpg (7137 bytes) burwash-harmer2.jpg (5783 bytes)
Brookland (1) Brightling (1) Burwash (1) Burwash (2)
burwash-harmer3.jpg (7204 bytes) burwash-harmer4.jpg (6226 bytes) cadestreet-harmer1.jpg (7244 bytes) cadestreet-harmer2.jpg (7582 bytes)
Burwash (3) Burwash (4) Cade Street (1) Cade Street (2)
cadestreet-harmer3.jpg (6398 bytes) cadestreet-harmer4.jpg (7499 bytes) cadestreet-harmer5.jpg (7203 bytes) cadestreet-harmer6.jpg (6501 bytes)
Cade Street (3) Cade Street (4) Cade Street (5) Cade Street (6)
Chiddingly (1) East Hoathly (1) East Hoathly (2) East Hoathly (3)
(see Note below)
Glynde (1) Old Heathfield (1) Old Heathfield (2) Old Heathfield (3)
Herstmonceux (1) Herstmonceux (2) Herstmonceux (3) Herstmonceux (4)
Herstmonceux (5) Herstmonceux (6) Herstmonceux (7) Herstmonceux (8)
This is on the church wall but comes from no (4) above
Hailsham (1) Hellingly (1) Hellingly (2) Hellingly (3)
Lamberhurst (1) Lamberhurst (2) Salehurst (1) Salehurst (2)
Salehurst (3) Salehurst (4) Salehurst (5) Wadhurst (1)
Waldron (1) Waldron (2) Warbleton (1) Warbleton (2)

NOTE:- the churchyard of East Hoathly has an additional "Harmer" this is a modern
 reproduction by a local potter during the 1980's and is also of very high quality

Villages Referenced

Ashburnham  -   (Last iron furnace in Sussex)
Boreham Street  -   (Picturesque village on top of the Ridge)
Brookland  -   (13th century wooden spire)
Burwash  -   (The home of Rudyard Kipling)
Cade Street  -   (Jack Cade and the Kentish rebellion)
Chiddingly  -   (Walking on Cheese ??)
East Hoathly  -   (Another Sussex Cannibal?)
Framfield  -   (380 years without a church tower)
Glynde  -   (Home of English Opera)
Hailsham  -   (Ropes and Napoleon)
Heathfield  -   (19th Century Natural Gas)
Hellingly  -   (Only remaining Ciric in Sussex)
Herstmonceux  -   (Castle and Observatory)
Lamberhurst  -   (Scotney Castle and Gardens)
Salehurst  -   (Richard the Lion Heart's Gift)
Wadhurst  -   (Last bare fisted Prize-Fight in England)
Waldron  -   (Fullers Earth)
Warbleton  -   (The Iron Man)
Wartling  -   (World War II defence centre)

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