Trowse Before Cameras

It seems odd today that cameras didn’t exist until quite recently, so if you wanted to record what you saw then you would have to paint it. The Norwich School of Artists generated some wonderful paintings of Trowse, partly because in the 19th century Trowse was an idyllic setting and wasn’t too far from Norwich on a horse.

It didn’t have the A47, the A146 bypass or County Hall spoiling the view or tranquillity so artists trundled here to enjoy a good day’s paint. Many didn’t realise as they fought for earning a living that their paintings would end up so valued and in places like the Norwich Castle Gallery. For painters like George Vincent, neither did he realise as he painted the most beautiful “Trowse Meadows” that he would end up in debt and in prison, to die anonymously somewhere in London.

If there is anyone out there who can shed any light on these paintings or have any more photos/paintings of the village (including Whitlingham) please get in touch.

So, this is not meant to be a history lesson but simply a celebration of some of the paintings created here in this village. If you would like to know more about any of them, I’ll do my best. They are in no particular order, just dropped into this page as they come.

Trowse Church and cottages opposite, and donkey. John Crome 1804.

Alfred Stannard; Trowse Hall . What it looked like before it was ruinated. The remains visible in Whitlingham Lane, just across from the Barn Cafe.
Alfred Stannard again. Somewhere down Whitlingham Lane but trying to find out exactly where this was painted from..

Anyone who has walked up the Street in Trowse would have seen the white, crenellated Old Hall. This drawing by Henry Ninham was drawn in 1833.
Reeve, James; Trowse Old Hall

John Thirtle painted this picture before 1839 (when he died) of Trowse Newton Church with the old cottages opposite (where the vicarage now stands)

This painting by Charles John Watson around 1870 fascinated me for ages. Called Cottage in Trowse Hythe. Then, I saw another drawing of the same scene and realised it is the house I live in down Whitlingham Lane!!

Vincent, George; Trowse Meadows. One of the pictures that got me interested in local art. Painted from approximately where the bridge goes over the Tas, looks down Whitlingham Lane and even shows my house in the distance! On permanent display at the Castle.
Trowse Newton Hall before it was ruinated in the 1800s. I still cannot figure out the perspective of it!

Every day we pass the old Pineapple Pub, (next to the fire station) but forget it’s been there since the 1700s. This is what it looked like in the earlier days!
Geldart, Joseph; Old Trowse Bridge, Norwich; Norfolk Museums Service;
Trowse Bridge, David Hodgson
Another one of Trowse Bridge by David Hodgson showing St Andrews Church on the left.

Robert Leman, Trowse Bridge (between 1830 and 1839)
Trowse Bridge, again.

Trowse Mill in 1840, Thomas Lound
What’s interesting about this painting by Thomas Lound is it shows the 5 arches in the bridge – now you can only see 3 – suggesting there are 2 hidden ones still there that have been filled in.
Cottages on the corner of what is now Whitlingham Lane (vicarage stands on the site today)

Trowse Hythe, Cotman 1809. This scene is approximately at the end of the Water Meadow where there is a bench looking downstream.
Trowse Hythe again – a sketch by Cotman once more. Note the abundance of buildings which are no longer there – what is now the wood between the river and Whitlingham Lane.
Trowse Old Hall, Afred Stannard

This is the intriguing picture that started it off from John Joseph Cotman. Painted from Crown Point which is approximately from the ridge at the top of the existing ski slope.
Lastly (for now). One of my favourites. Taken from just off what is now Whitlingham Lane, James Stark in 1853 paints Orchard Cottage (left) and Staithe Cottages (right). All still there today, albeit rather different but identifiable still. Note children on right, when the field used to be common land.