Heywood Sumner’s life can be divided into two phases. Until he was forty-four years old he was involved in the Arts and Crafts Movement. His work was diverse, ranging from paintings to designing tapestries and furniture.
In 1897 due to the ill health of his wife, he moved from London to the New Forest. For the next forty years he studied the local natural history, geology, folklore and archaeology. As an archaeologist he was ahead of his time and his records were always detailed and accurate.