'Torquay, The Giant Rock At Watcombe', c 1880.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A photographic view of the cliff-face amongst the hills of Watcombe, published by Francis Bedford & Co. Watcombe is the area Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859) once planned to retire to. He had commissioned the design of a garden and house but died before it was built. Bedford (1816-1894) was a prolific and well-respected photographer, best known for his numerous topographic and architectural views of Britain. In 1857 Bedford became a member of the Photographic Society and in 1862 he accompanied the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII (1841-1910), as official photographer on a tour of the Middle East. During the 1860s and 1870s Bedford travelled extensively throughout Britain, taking hundreds of views of British scenery. He was assisted by his son, William (1846-1893) whose work is almost indistinguishable from that of his father.