He studied design and the history of architecture at the Royal West of England College of Art in Bristol, then for five years (1935-40) worked in the Art Department of Ealing Studios [See Buckman]. Armfield moved to Cornwall in 1942, taking up painting as a full time professional career in 1945.
A Quaker pacifist, he turned to Symbolism during the war years. His cousin was Maxfield Armfield, the painter and writer, and from him he developed the tempera technique, producing a manual on the subject in due course. For 20 years he worked in a studio in Looe, South Cornwall, opening a Gallery in 1965. Later he moved to Plymouth, Devon.