General Views

Date: 1827
Source: drawing in magazine probably by gaol architect Richard Brown

A new City Gaol to replace the old one on Gaol Hill (site to the North of the Guildhall) was planned from 1822. It was surrounded by dispute from the start – about its site, design, architect, builder, building materials etc (see Ex Fonte no.11 1990 for a full account). It was finally sited just outside St Giles gates and completed in 1826 for a cost of £30,000, twice the original estimate.

This bird’s-eye view shows its situation on the corner between Earlham and Unthank roads, where St John’s R.C. Cathedral now stands. It was built to a modern radial plan, with stables, tread mills and a laundry housed in the rectangular projections. Looking beyond the gaol a quarry can be seen – this was the site of the future Plantation garden. A windmill beyond that marks the position of Mill Rd.

Having the gaol as his neighbour when he took over the quarry site in 1855 obviously did not deter Henry Trevor, but he must have been pleased when the gaol was moved in the 1890s and a grand building in the medieval style which he admired so greatly gave him a very different view.

Source: Spelman (auctioneers) included this photograph in their particulars of sale of the lease of the Plantation house and garden. The sale was held after Henry Trevor’s death in May 1897.

This view was taken looking South from the rustic bridge (254, 281,283,304,373?,374,402). It shows clearly the overall ‘bowl’ shape of the garden, which was built in an old chalk quarry. Even before chalk was quarried flints were mined there.
Various structures can be seen: prominent in the centre is the ‘Gothic’ fountain(), ‘Italian’ balustrades and terraces() can be seen at the far end, and the 1871 Palm House and Winter Garden() is visible at the right.
H.T’s gardening style shows emphasis on carpet bedding in the 5 flower beds(), with ‘exotics’ as ‘dot’ plants along the edge of the lawn and slopes planted with trees.

Date 1897
Source Detail of PGPT001

This enlargement shows clearly the propagating house (described in the auction particulars as ‘span-roof…..24ft by 10ft), with the row of finials along the top, an open door and plants standing on the shelf inside. There is also a cold frame behind. On the pedestals around the fountain urns shaped like tree trunks can be seen, and fragments of these have been found in the garden.

Source: as in PGPT001

This view was taken looking North from the top of the Italian terrace (). The Plantation house() can be seen near the horizon on the left, and the Palm House and Winter Garden () are visible at the far end of the garden. The way the ivy has been cut into triangles and decorates the ‘medieval’ wall to the left of the Palm house is similar to the treatment on the balustrade walls in 001.

PGPT019 and PGPT030
Source: photographs taken by John Gavin. PGPT003 shows an enlarged detail of this photograph.

It was taken from the Italian terrace looking North, from a point slightly lower than in PGPT002. The plantings are so similar in these 2 photographs that it is tempting to think they come from the same set, but there are differences, e.g a ladder propped against the Palm house in PGPT002 does not appear here. Because the distance from the flower beds is less, it has been possible to identify some of the plants ( ) e.g.the echeveria which edge the long bed on the left of the lawn.

Date: 1897
Source: enlargement by Sarah Cocke from PGPT002

This enlargement was made to show details of the Palm house made by Boulton and Paul (see pages from their catalogue PGPT075, 078). Points of interest are the glazed entrance to the boiler house on the right, copied in 2000 to make a shed (PGPT097), trestles and a ladder beside the double doors, the ventilators open at the top of the octagon, the trim edges of the paths, the carefully tended flower beds and the neat shaping of the ivy on the ‘medieval’ wall on the left.

PGPT063 and 230
Date 1919/20
Source Detail from photograph in Green family album

In the family album. George Colman Green, son of George Green, has written ‘The North Elmham Naval Boys at the Plantation, 1919-20’ On the same page is a photograph of the boys in their sailor hats with the Lady Mayoress (Mrs Green). She can be seen sitting in the background here. Another photgraph (not shown) has George Green standing on the upper lawn with a group of more than 20 school boys from Bethnal Green, London, who were visiting the Plantation.

The balustrading and walls of the Italian terrace (Guide book 2009 p37) rise up behind the seated figures. The Gothic alcove (Guide book 2009 p34), covered with ivy, can be seen at the left, and there seem to be the remains of a large curved window (?) abutting the terrace wall in the centre.

Source:family album of the Page family (cf PGPT016)

This photograph was taken by Brian Page, grandson of the John Joseph Gray Page who was the eldest stepson of Henry Trevor. Bettine Page produced it for the PGPT.
This view was taken from the rustic bridge and can be compared with 001. By this time the Palm House has been demolished and its site turned into a rose garden.

Date: 1920s
Source: Green family album

This is a companion photograph to PGPT017. It is notable that the Palm House has been demolished, and probably a rose garden has replaced it. The ivy on the supporting wall is overgrown (cf PGPT001) as is the bank in front of it. There are at least 3 jets at the top of the fountain.
The gardens immediately around the house look well-cared for, and formal beds and lawns still exist on the North of the house. Several
climbing plants grow on the walls.
The photograph was taken from an upper path on the East bank of the garden.

Date: 1930s
Source: as PGPT151/4

This photograph (label ‘View of Garden’) must have been taken from the rustic bridge, looking South. The Palm House has been demolished and replaced by a rose garden(?). In the foreground a framework can just be seen beneath climbing plants: was this the remains of the glazed structure (entrance to the underground chamber for the boiler) just visible to the right in PGPT002?

Date: 1930s
Source: as PGPT151/4

PGPT152 gave the view of the garden looking South, here we have the view looking North. The label was ‘House from grounds showing tennis court.’ The contrast between the untidiness of the bed on the West of the lawn (left) and its neat appearance in PGPT019, 021 is striking.

Date:1940s (?)
Source: not known

The main lawn became a tennis court during the early 20c., and that involved grassing over the flower beds and the main path. This view looks toward the North (cf.PGPT002). The very overgrown state of the planting indicates a date in the 1940s, as do the short skirts of the tennis players.

Source: negative donated by J.F.C.Mills

The photograph was taken from the lawn of the Plantation house, looking across the top of the Palm house to St John’s Catholic cathedral. The cathedral is only partly built, and this is how the photograph can be dated to the 1890s. N.b. the globe lights beside the steps, the open ventilators of the Palm house, and the immaculate carpet bedding.

Source: Brian Page, grandson of J.J.G.Page produced this view, looking North from the terrace, with his box camera (cf PGPT005)

Steps can be seen (before the fountain) leading up to the ‘window folly’ ( ), the rustic bridge is just visible beyond the fountain, and the central lawn has become a tennis court with flower beds and main path grassed over. The rockworks on the right look overgrown.

Date: unknown
Source: Green family album

This view has been taken from the rustic bridge, looking South (cf PGPT001) It appears to be a companion photograph to PGPT006. It is notable that the lawn and main path have been grassed over: the trangles of ivy on the terrace walls (cf 001) have been replaced by ivy ‘columns’, and the elaborate pattern of the flowerbeds in the foreground are similar to those in the 1930s photograph (PGPT )

Source: Green family album

Rather poor copies of rather poor photographs from the family album of the Greens. George Green held the lease of the Plantation throughout the 1920s, and here members of his family are playing tennis on the lawn and 2 young children are peeping through the balustrades at the top of the Italian terrace. The ‘balusters’ are an economical design made of bricks – cheaper than buying shaped balusters. Henry Trevor used the same design for the low dividing walls between the houses of the Terrace he built in Chester Place (PGPT)008.

These are duplicates of PGPT022



PGPT069, 070, 071
Date 1920s
Source Green family album

Source: see right

This photograph was given to the Trust by Kathleen Barnard, great grand-daughter of Henry Trevor. It was taken by her father, Stanley Trevor, who was one of the two grandsons to whom Henry Trevor left the residue of his estate.

Source: negative donated by J.F.C. Mills

This negative is one of a pair donated by Mr Mills. The other (PGPT015) sets the date for the pair. From this angle the glasshouse beside the fountain can be seen more clearly than in other photographs, and the complicated pattern of flower beds on the upper lawn is clear too.

Date of original unknown. 1915 has been suggested.

OIn the 1980s several postcards were produced for sale to visitors to the garden. They were printed in sepia to give a ‘period’ effect. PGPT 006 shows the photograph from which this abbreviated postcard version was taken. PGPT 033 and 034 are from the same series of postcards.

Date suggested 1920s.
Source of original unknown.

The date on the back of this postcard (cf PGPT032) was probably based on the size of the trees along the West wall. Interesting features are the rustic fence in the lower left hand corner, the steps on the West bank, the urns on the pedestals around the fountain and the eagles(?) on top of the columns in front of the propagating house.

Date: 1960

Aerial view some time during the sixties.

The Palm House area and half the lawn has already been abandoned and the fountain basin is empty.


Aerial view

Date 1940?
Source Unknown

This aerial view looks North, and shows the Cathedral of St John the Baptist top right, and Chester Place (which Henry Trevor built) bottom left.

Date: 1980
Source: photograph by Allan Sewell

This view looking North from the Italian balustrades toward the house complements PGPT319. In the foreground is part of the ivy mountain covering steps and balustrades, the lawns and paths have disappeared under a covering of saplings, tall grass and brambles.

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.

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.

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.

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.


PGPT301 and 303
Date: 1998
Source: photographs 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.

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.

Date: 1998
Source: photograph by volunteer

PGPT312 shows the view from the bridge in 1998 – compare with the 1897 view (PGPT001).

Date 21st July 2005
Source Photograph by Pat Turner

The Plantation Garden Preservation Trust (PGPT) was formed in1980 with the purpose of restoring the garden, then in a ruinous state, to its appearance in 1897. The planting scheme shown here was part of the celebration, as was an exhibition at the Assembly House, a fete, a special edition of Ex Fonte etc.

Date: c.2006
Source: photograph by volunteer

The lower lawn in full summer bloom. Visible are Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and Heuchera. In the distance the summerhouse can be seen at the top of the italian terrace.

Date: July 2007
Source: Photograph by volunteer

This view to the Italian terrace shows the collapse of the wall on the right hand (East) side of the lawn. PGPT092 shows reconstruction under way.

Date: July 2007
Source: Photograph by volunteer

View on to the steps and slopes of the Italian Terrace taken from the East.

The terrace does not have a date built in like the ‘medieval’ wall at the other end of the garden, but it seems likely that Henry Trevor built it at an early stage, c1860: he would not have wanted to leave the bare wall of chalk at the end of his quarry garden exposed, he would have wanted to gain access to the higher ground at the South end to gain a ‘belvedere’, and there are 2 bricks with the moulded letter ‘F’ built in to various parts of the walls here which remind us that his brother, Frederick Francis, died in 1860 and may be commemorated here – there are no other individual letter bricks in the garden.

Date: October 2007
Source: Photograph by volunteer

This photograph shows the path along the lower level of the eastern slope (see PGPT109). Like PGPT129, it shows damage done by foxes – the sandy soil on the path has been scattered by foxes digging their lair in the slope above.

Of interest also is this view of the side and top of the restored ‘Gothic alcove’ (see PGPT091,103).


Date: 2007
Source: photograph in PGPT archive

In 2007 an artist brought this painting in to the garden with the suggestion that prints should be made and sold for the benefit of the PGPT and the artist herself. The project was not pursued.

Date: August 2008
Source: photograph by Marjorie Wilson

A view looking North in which can be seen the summer bedding …….., the fountain, the glazed shed and the rustic bridge.

Date: October 2008
Source: photograph by voluntee

There is a date plaque set into this wall with the date 1871, so we know that Henry Trevor built it 15 years after he completed his house.It was part of his scheme for adding a Palm house to his garden (see PGPT125). The house is plain and classical in style, the fountain, built in 1857, is decidedly Gothic, and Henry Trevor’s taste for the medieval style reappears strongly again in this wall. We know that he walked to his business daily, and on the way would have passed several medieval churches and the city walls, so he had plenty of opportunity to collect ideas for the very idiosyncratic designs that appear along its length – a gargoyle, a cross, a dog’s head (see PGPT148), a ‘man’, a coat of arms. Various Gunton bricks – thistle, rose, fleur-de-lys – add to the confusion or interest depending on your taste!

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