Ayer’s (1873) Robert Minton Taylor “Gothic-Revival” Ceramic Tiles
The six decorative panels displayed on the backdrop of the Downtown Ayer Commuter Rail Station are reproductions of the original and rare 1873 ceramic tiles, designed and manufactured at the world-famous Robert Minton Taylor Tile Works located at “Fenton Near Stoke on Trent” in England. Ayer’s historic ceramic tiles, (4 Encaustic-type & 2 Majolica-type), elegantly line the upper stories of the 1873 “Gothic-Revival” Ayer Town Hall, located at 1 Main Street in Downtown Ayer.
Ayer’s precious Robert Minton Taylor ceramic tiles are purely “English Gothic-Revival” in their design, heritage, and architectural expression. These ceramic tiles were integrated into the design of Ayer’s 1873 Town Hall through the influence of Dr. James Cook Ayer (for whom the Town of Ayer was named in 1871), and who traveled extensively throughout England and Europe actively collecting works of fine art, sculpture, and architectural design. In 1873, Dr. Ayer commissioned the Boston architectural firm of Weston & Rand to design the new “Gothic-Revival” Ayer Town Hall. The beautiful English Gothic-Revival ceramic tiles were introduced into the design of Ayer Town Hall through the influence of English architect Frank W. Weston, who emigrated from England to Massachusetts in 18566, and the mutual appreciation of fine European art by Dr. James Cook Ayer. Gazing up at Historic Ayer Town Hall, one can appreciate Dr. Ayer’s and Architect Weston’s combined vision in composing a uniquely artistic an certainly elegant “Gothic-Revival” Town Hall in New England.