St. Dominic’s Press


Included in the 1982 edition of the International Register, the source of the online edition. Details.

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An outgrowth from the publications of The Hampshire House Workshops Hampshire Hog Lane, Hammersmith, starting in 1915, Douglas Pepler (later Hilary) moved his printing and publishing efforts to Ditchling, Sussex following a path blazed by sculptor and engraver Eric Gill and calligrapher Edward Johnston. In 1916 Pepler set up the press in a barn that had been Gill’s sculpture studio. He used an early Stanhope press for the majority of his printing, and often espoused the virtues of a life of hand craft. Gill, Johnston and Pepler created a craft community which was quite co-operative until Gill’s and Pepler’s conversion to Catholicism caused Johnston to leave the group. With others, Gill and Pepler founded the Guild of St. Joseph and St. Dominic two miles north of Ditchling and built a Distributist craft community. From 1915 to 1924 Gill engraved many illustrations for the press, as well as David Jones, Philip Hagreen and others. All work at the press was done by hand, on handmade paper following the Guild’s principles. In 1937 Pepler was removed from the Guild over employing a non-Catholic assistant, and returned to Ditchling, shortly thereafter turning the press over to his sons, it being renamed The Ditchling Press. The press undertook commercial as well as religious printing and very much reflected the individual character of Hilary Pepler and the co-operative work of his assistants. Pepler died in 1951 and is buried with his wife and son David in Ditchling. The Stanhope press resides today in The Ditchling Museum, along with Edward Johnston’s writing desk and various works by Eric Gill.