The Ancients was the name the group gave to themselves. The implication of the name was that as the Industrial Revolution burgeoned they were looking back to a better age.

Their leader was Samuel Palmer and the other chief figures were Edward Calvert and George Richmond. For a few years between 1826 and 1834 they gathered in the idyllic Kent village of Shoreham where Palmer owned a house. Their work expressed a mystical vision of nature, in Palmer’s case deeply Christian, in Calvert’s tinged with pagan delight in the erotic.