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The Plantation Garden Archive

1990 - 2000

   PGPT183 and 208
Date:1990
Source: photograph by volunteer

This photograph appeared on the back cover of Ex Fonte no.12 1991, and was taken during an open Day in September 1990. At that time the garden was not open to the public on a daily basis; visits had to be on a Sunday, on an Open Day (spring and late summer) when teas were provided, as here, or by booking a tour at a pre-arranged time.

The fountain can be seen working. On p3 it says that visitors were 'able to work the fountain by a coin in the slot mechanism'. That does not seem to have become a regular feature!
PGPT208    This photograph seems to be of the same event as PGPT183, 187
PGPT187
Date: 1990
Source: photograph by volunteer

Like PGPT183, this photograph appeared on the back cover of Ex Fonte no.12 1991 and probably shows one of the jollities of an Open Day.
PGPT320
Date: 1990s
Source: photograph by Sarah Cocke

Comparison with PGPT319 reveals what lay beneath the thick covering of ivy. Although inevitably some repairs to the facade were needed, the most obvious reconstruction was of sections of the balustrade.

In the 1897 auction particulars this area of the garden is described as 'The Italian Garden', with mention of its plantings, but the 'Italian' character really derived from Henry Trevor's 'well kept terraces and balconies'; for he employed here, to cover the steep cliff of the original chalk quarry, the slopes, steps, pedestals and balustrades which Italians had developed to deal with their steep terrain.

The balustrade along the top, which shows white in the picture, was made of bricks in pattern clearly seen on the left in PGPT002 and 022.
PGPT185
Date: 1990
Source: photograph by Allan Sewell, volunteer

This photograph of the top of the fountain seems to be one of a series marking the progress of work on the fountain. An article in Ex Fonte no.12 1991 p9 describes the repairs made to the top and installation of a pump.
PGPT199
Date: c1990
Source: photograph by volunteer, probably Allan Sewell

The first restoration of the fountain has brought it back to life. It is now ready for the invasion of frogs which congregate every March creating a frog carpet around the surrounding paths and making sure of the next generation.



PGPT321
Date: 1990s
Source: photograph by volunteer

Shrubland Park near Ipswich may have been an inspiration to Henry Trevor when planning the Plantation garden. Charles Barry was working there 1848-1852, and Pevsner refers to the many Italianate features he added to the house and garden. 'The W garden carried down in terraces on the model of the Villa d'Este at Tivoli works wonders with the little Suffolk landscape offered'.

It is quite possible that Henry Trevor visited this garden before or while he planned his own 'Italian garden', since it was open to the public at times. Another possible connection is that Edward Boardman,the architect whom  Henry Trevor often employed to design for him (see PGPT008), was a fellow student of Charles Barry's son.
PGPT098
Date 1990s
Source Plan prepared to illustrate guided walks.

The ultimate source for this plan was the O.S 1883/4 map (PGPT082)
That map was used by the auctioneers, Spelmans, when they advertised the sale of Henry Trevor's properties in 1897. On their map the names of the owners of the adjacent properties on the Earlham and Unthank roads were shown. In turn that map was copied and numbers added in the 20c to identify various features for visitors, and dotted lines drawn to indicate the variety of circular walks which Henry Trevor had designed to add interest to his garden.
PGPT293
Date: 1991
Source: as PGPT050

It was on the same excursion that John Watson took this photograph towards the north.




PGPT147
Date: 1990s (?)
Source: Postcard sold by PGPT

One of the ways the Trust tried to raise money was by printing and selling postcards. Their first publications in the1980s were of old sepia photographs: this example comes from the second batch, when improvements could be illustrated. Thus the fountain has been cleared, repaired and the basin filled with water, flower beds have been cut into the lawn, and the bed along the edge of the Palm house lawn has been planted.

PGPT148
Date: 1990-2000
Source: as PGPT147

This postcard shows one general view of the garden and 3 details - the angel on the 'window' (see PGPT096), the 'fancy' details of thefountain and the dog's  head on the 'medieval' wall. The background here has been constructed with pebble flints - elsewhere variety is provided by using knapped flints.
PGPT322
Date: 1990s
Source: photograph by volunteer

This photograph of one corner the wall of the Italian terrace shows a typical mixture of the materials Henry Trevor used in his garden, in contrast to those used to create the Italian gardens of many wealthy owners of country estates. At Shrubland Park (see PGPT321) the grand staircase and its balustrades and pedestals were all made of stone, but this would have been impossibly expensive for Henry Trevor.

Instead he again employed the assortment of materials seen elsewhere in the garden: there are flints, moulded chimney bricks from Gunton Bros (including a bunch of grapes design), moulded balustrades and - a very individual touch - drain pipes to stand in for classical columns on the pedestals.
PGPT323
Date:1990s
Source: photograph by volunteer

A visitor making the ascent to the top of the terrace would find continual interest in the designs on the walls. They are amazingly varied and use an eclectic mixture of materials. Thus here a flower pattern has been created from Gunton bricks intended to decorate chimneys (see PGPT011), surrounded by a white brick classical leaf and dart moulding, with a couple of path tiles added above to enliven the flint background. Never a dull moment!
PGPT369
Date: 1990s
Source: photograph by volunteer

The left hand pillar from the propagating house (see History and Guide 2009 p 33). The propagating house can just be seen beyond the fountain in PGPT001, though already in 1897 the pillars were covered with ivy.
The pillars were decorated with various Gunton Bros fancy bricks: rose, shamrock, thistle, grapes and small window frames were used.





PGPT370
Date: 1990s
Source: photograph by volunteer

Rockworks (see History and Guide 2009 p 34) became very popular in Victorian gardens, with manuals giving instructions about how to build them using limestone and clinker waste from furnaces or gasworks. A large piece of clinker can be seen at the top of the 'steps' here, down which water could trickle to be absorbed in the flower bed below.

In recent years ferns have been planted in the twenty or so planting holes built into the face of this long retaining wall. See also PGPT016,081,214.

PGPT371
Date: early 1990s
Source: photograph by volunteer

This photograph shows the Plantation house still looking much as it did in 1897 (see PGPT067) but the foreground is very different.  the flint/brick shed, built in the 1980s, stands where once the gardener's cottage (see PGPT034) and a fruit store stood. The relative positions of master's house and servant's cottage reflect the 'upstairs, downstairs' relationship between Henry Trevor and his gardener, George Woodhouse. In the 1897 auction particulars the cottage is described as 'well screened from the house' and indeed their different levels made that easy to achieve.

During the 1990s a wooden structure was erected next to the shed and was fitted with units donated by Lorraine Matthews. It served as a base for catering for teas etc and for storage.
PGPT053
Date 1992
Source Photograph by volunteer

3 young volunteers are shown uncovering one of the many drains alongside the path in the garden. It is notable that neither the flower bed along the edge of the Palm house lawn nor the round bed have yet been restored.
    PGPT186 and PGPT367
Date: 1992 reproduction of 1857 date plaque
Source: photograph by volunteer

The plaque showing the date of construction of the fountain had disappeared by 1980 when restoration began. There were, however, several photographs which showed the original (seePGPT137,139,188) and so it was possible to have a reproduction made with the date 1857 (1 year after the Plantation house had been built) copied in the original style, with the inscription added ' Stone 1992 replaced fountain restored'.

This pedestal from the wall surrounding the fountain basin has yet another window frame by Gunton Bros, different from those in PGPT356 and 357. See PGPT186 for information about the reproduction date plaque.
PGPT306
Date: 1990s
Source: photograph by volunteer

This detail of the west wall of St Peter Mancroft church was taken to show the influence of the medieval churches of Norwich on Henry Trevor's designs for his garden, where the fashionable taste for the medieval was much in evidence.
         PGPT307, 308 and 316 
Date: 1990s
Source: photographs by Sarah Cocke

These details of the 'medieval' wall reveal clearly Henry Trevor's taste for designs which echo medieval ecclesiastical architecture. The shield in PGPT307 is similar to one of those in PGPT111, the emblem of the cross speaks for itself and reflects Henry Trevor's devout belief that gardening was a godly activity, the 'man' is reminiscent of medieval carvings of comic people. Gunton Bros bricks have been used to create these images (see PGPT113).
         PGPT309, 310, 313 and 314
Date: 1990s
Source: photographs by Sarah Cocke

These are all details of the 'medieval' wall which Henry Trevor built in 1871 as a retaining wall when he levelled the slope in front of the house so that he could site his large Palm house there. He made this wall highly decorative by extensive use of Gunton Bros fancy bricks e.g. the rose, thistle and shamrock chimney bricks (see PGPT311,315). There is no evidence about the source of the 'gargoyle' - it also may be from a Gunton mould.  
   PGPT354 and PGPT355
Date: 1990s
Source: photograph by volunteer

Gunton Bros catalogue (see PGPT311) declares that the moulded bricks which are their speciality can be made in red and white, and here are examples from the walls of the Plantation garden. Both bricks have of course weathered: the red remains unmistakably brick, whereas after a time the white is often mistaken for stone.
   PGPT356 and PGPT357
Date: 1990s
Source: photograph by volunteer

These are two of the six pedestals which punctuate the wall surrounding the fountain. They must date to 1857, when it was built  (see PGPT186). It is interesting to note that each of themis different, though each uses a window frame which matches a pattern in Gunton Bros catalogue. The central motif for each can also be matched - to chimneys in the catalogue, no. 7 (on left), which cost £2 17s 6d, and no.16 (on right), which cost £3. The 'background' has been filled in with pebble flints.

The overall design of these pedestals is very similar to the pedestals in front of the houses in Chester Place (see PGPT008), which Henry Trevor built in 1867, employing Edward Boardman (see PGPT375) as architect. We know that Henry Trevor employed him also for the Palm House in 1871: did he work at this early stage of his career on the fountain, or did Henry Trevor ask him to copy a design that he liked, invented by somebody else?
PGPT358
Date: 1990s
Source: photograph by volunteer

Another view of the plaque described in PGPT111



   PGPT359 and PGPT360
Date: 1990s
Source: photograph by Bruce Adam

These photographs are of the chimneys at Oxburgh Hall. They were installed in the 1830s, when the hall was modernised - for comfort, but in the medieval style (see PGPT325/6). The chimneys were supplied by Gunton Bros (see PGPT311) and the one on the left matches design no. 13, which cost £2 17s 6d. The other designs had apparently been discontinued by the 1903 catalogue.
PGPT361
Date: 1990s
Source: as PGPT341

There can be no doubt that Henry Trevor was not alone in Norwich in his taste for building 'medieval' ruins as follies in his garden. Here are 3 examples which have survived from other large gardens: in Heigham Rd (top), Albemarle Rd (bottom) and Kett's Castle villa. Only the Kett's Castle construction is still situated within its original garden.
PGPT305
Date: 1990s
Source: photograph by Sarah Cocke

This is a detail of the ‘medieval’ wall (cf PGPT305). The date plaque here is very valuable for the information it gives about when the wall was built, i.e. in 1871 as part of the construction preparatory to the erection of the Palm House (cf PGPT003). No explanation has yet been found for the design of the main plaque, which apparently shows a barrel, leaves, fruit and flowers, as well as the letters ‘H’ and ‘A’ in a decorative ‘Gothic’ style. Similar plaques are to be found on the pedestals at the bottom of the steps leading down from the upper lawn (cfPGPT043/4). Was this another ‘bargain lot’ which Henry Trevor acquired from Gunton Bros? And is it another example of Henry Trevor’s humour, because the bar at the top of the ‘A’ ressembles a ‘T’? The circular design at the top is formed from Gunton chimney bricks.
PGPT439
Date: 1995
Source: photograph by volunteer Sheila Adam
The Plantation house exterior looks very similar in modern times to its1897 appearance (cf PGPT067). From this angle, it is possible to see how Henry Trevor chose to build on a slightly elevated site, planning that the drive dipped from the Earlham road, then rose again up to the entrance of the house. A visitor would thus feel that he was arriving at an imposing residence, not a mere tradesman’s house. As the 1897 auction particulars stated, it was ‘within a few minutes walk of the Market Place, possessing, at the same time, all the advantages of a suburban retreat’.
From this angle we can also see the roof of the servants’ quarters at the back of the house, and the curious window on the north, created when that room was turned into the operating theatre of the clinic in the 1930s (cf PGPT154).
       

PGPT343 and 344

Date: 1995

Source: diagrams for volunteer guides

PGPT343 is a copy of the 1883 O.S. map on which has been marked ,in green, the numerous beds which would have needed planting with perennials or summer bedding in Henry Trevor's time. PGPT344 (duplicate of PGPT098) indicates the various circular routes which Henry Trevor had devised to provide interesting walks round his garden.

PGPT108
Date: 1990s
Source: Publicity leaflet

In the late 1990s it was decided that a leaflet would be useful to distribute to hotels, the station, tourist offices around the county etc. It proved very popular.

This map was based, by permission, on Geographers' A-Z and O.S.
PGPT298
Date: 1997
Source: photograph by Sarah Cocke

This photograph was taken to be the cover photograph for the guide and history published in March 1998. The Town Close Trust gave a generous grant towards the cost of printing.
PGPT174
Date: 1998
Source: photograph in Trust archive

Prince Charles came to Norwich on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Norwich Society and visited their exhibition mounted in the Assembly house. The Norwich Society had, as part of their celebrations, contributed very generously to the construction of a replica of the rustic bridge in the Plantation garden. The first guide book to the garden was published in 1998 and Sheila Kefford (facing camera), secretary-organiser of the Norwich Society, has here just presented a copy to the Prince.
   PGPT175, 176
Date:1998
Source: as PGPT174

In PGPT176, on the right, The PGPT Secretary, Gretchen Mason, and Chairman 1995-2000, Elizabeth Bickerton, have been presented to Prince Charles.
   PGPT301 and 303
Date: 1998
Source: photograph by volunteer

PGPT303 was one of the early photographs taken from the restored rustic bridge (see PGPT304). It was very pleasing to be able to reproduce a view which had been shown in the 1897 photograph (PGPT001) but which had not been available since the bridge collapsed in the 1940s.
PGPT304 and PGPT312 
Date: 1998
Source: photograph by volunteer

In 1998 the Norwich Society was celebrating its 75th anniversary and invited suggestions for projects to commemorate the occasion. Fortunately for the PGPT, the restoration of a bridge had been one of the Society's original projects, and so it was agreed that it would bear half the expense of restoring our bridge.

Allan Sewell, a local architect who had been involved in the PGPT from its early days, designed the bridge after close study of the 1893 map, the site and the few existing photographs. He was pleased to find, once building was under way, that the builders uncovered the original bases of the bridge just where he had placed them.
     
PGPT312 shows the view from the bridge in 1998 - compare with the 1897 view PGPT001.
   PGPT179, 180
Date: 1990s
Source: photograph by volunteer

The conservatory at Carrow House and the splendid gates still stand.
PGPT096
Date c.2000
Source Photograph by volunteer

The 'window' (Guide book 2009 p34) is a good example of Henry Trevor's liking for the medieval style in the decoration of his garden. In PGPT061/62 this feature can be seen as it appeared in the 1930s.
   
PGPT331
Date: c.2000
Source: photograph by volunteer

Here can be seen a panel from the original 1886 summerhouse which was found in 1980 on the lawn near the Beeches (see PGPT090). This panel and the one just glimpsed on the right were decorated with 'found' pieces of wood to make images of swans.

PGPT332
Date: 2006
Source: photograph by volunteer

Another picture of the recreated summerhouse with its heather roof (see PGPT135,114,219), before it was replaced with a roof of Norfolk reed (see PGPT090,116)
PGPT334
Date: 1990s
Source: photograph by volunteer

At the top of the rockworks are two large lumps of clinker, each at the head of 'steps' down which a trickle of water could flow.
Clinker from the gaswoks was used by Henry Trevor as a cheap substitute for the volcanic rock which was advised as desirable for Victorian rockworks.

Marj Wilson designed a planting for the elevation which included ferns and cordyline. In the background can be seen one of the copper beeches which Henry Trevor planted.
PGPT337
Date: 1997
Source: photograph by volunteer

The family tomb in Earlham cemetery was built in 1862 when Joseph Gray (see PGPT158) died. His inscription, on the right, tells us that he 'lived in the faith of Jesus Christ for upwards of fifty years', a reminder that he was a minister at the Pottergate St Baptist chapel, like his son-in-law Henry Trevor after him. Other family members buried here include Henry Trevor himself, Joseph's grandson John Joseph Gray Page, another grandson and great-granddaughter.

By 1997 the tomb was in a state of dereliction, and Bruce Adam raised the money from Henry Trevor's descendants and others to restore it to commemorate the centenary of Henry Trevor's death. Lead letters were replaced, some scattered railings retrieved from under bushes, others recast and the stone cleaned
PGPT338
Date: 1997
Source: detail from PGPT337

By the time of Henry Trevor's death, he was well known enough for reports of his brief illness and death to be reported at length in the local papers. There was a brief ceremony at the house, then a procession 'led by the head gardener' and managers from the works joined the carriages in the road to proceed to the cemetery. Nearly 100 employees came to the cemetery, and the mourners listed included many eminent  businessmen of the city - including George Green, who would lease the Plantation some 20 years later (see PGPT059-63).

Mary (1815-1902, see PGPT159) his wife has left little trace in the records, though her remarkably long life stretched from the battle of Waterloo to the arrival of motor cars. She was married and widowed twice, and bore at least six children, of whom 4 survived to adulthood. Considering how much time and money Henry Trevor spent on the garden, one hopes that she enjoyed it too. Her father, Joseph Gray's will indicates that he valued his garden, with its vinery, hothouse and busts, so her upbringing trained her well!

Poor Eliza (seePGPT162) died before her parents. Her 2 sons were Henry Trevor's main heirs.
PGPT339
Date: 1990s
Source: photograph by volunteer

A rustic bridge at Shrubland Park (see PGPT321), providing access from one slope to another, is another similarity between Shrubland and the Plantation garden.

PGPT259
Date: 1998
Source: photograph by volunteer (replicates PGPT312)

This view from the rustic bridge shows clearly the outline of the Palm House (PGPT003) - its shape and interior paths. The beds had been planted recently, and the surfacing of the paths with gravel had just been completed.

PGPT258
Date: 1999
Source: photograph by volunteer

The caption explains that a trench was dug for the pipes and cables need to supply the south end of the garden with water and electricity, both often needed for events such as parties and weddings held in marquees on the lawn. Although this was for a time a profitable source of income, it did result in some damage to the flower beds and grass, and rarely happens now.




PGPT256
Date: 2000
Source: photograph by volunteer

The garden is very photogenic in snow! These steps were built by volunteers to lead from the fountain up to the middle path along the east bank.







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The Plantation Garden Preservation Trust, 4 Earlham Road, Norwich, Norfolk.