Designed & maintained by Carol Gingell

©  C.Gingell 2015 - all photographs, personal stories and written articles on this site are copyright and should not be reproduced anywhere else without the permission of the copyright owner and Broadland Memories.

© Broadland Memories 2015

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via e-mail Print
Home About Archive What's New DVD's Links Contact

Page  1, 2, 3

Pre 1900 History Pre 1900 Memories

Pre 1900 Photo Gallery

Trading wherries on the River Ant 1880s

More of John Payne Jennings photographs

Two trading wherries approach one another on the River Ant. Suffling told us; “The Ant is a tortuous stream having its source at the Antingham Ponds, and after a course of some 18 miles, empties its waters into the River Bure, near St. Benet’s Abbey. It is in places so narrow that when two wherries meet there is nothing to spare, so that care has to be taken to prevent any mishap to sails or gear.


Barton Turf Staithe 1880s

Loading rushes at Barton Turf staithe. Suffling gave us this insight into Broadland life; “The Broads have a harvest of their own, just as the adjacent fields have, but in place of wheat, barley, oats, etc., reed, rushes, gladden, boulders, flags and marsh-grass are gathered in, affording the marshmen plenty of work during the late winter and early spring. In the season these men are also engaged in hay-harvest, known as ‘Haysel,’ and later, in the corn harvest; so that, as a rule, their earnings total up more than that of an ordinary farm labourer or ‘teamerman.

Gay's Staithe 1880s

Gay’s Staithe at Neatishead. The 1881 census listed the occupier of the staithe cottage as John Gay who was born in 1828 and was listed as being a wherryman. I’m not sure how far back the name Gay’s Staithe goes, but it was presumably named after John or one of his ancestors.

Irstead Staithe 1880s

Irstead Staithe. Suffling’s text which accompanied this image stated;“The small church of Irstead, dedicated to St. Michael, is in the Decorated style and is noticeable from the fact that William of Wykham was rector here in 1347. From Irstead he went to Winchester of which city he was Bishop from 1366 till his death in 1404. He founded Winchester College in 1378 and New College, Oxford, in 1380.

Stalham 1880s

Payne Jennings titled this photograph “Salmon’s Dyke” at Stalham and the view shows the old staithe tower mill. Kelly’s 1892 directory listed the widow Sarah Burton as miller, coal merchant and carrier by water, presumably meaning that she owned at least one wherry. The ground floor section of the mill still stands in a yard off Mill Street in Stalham. Of Stalham, George Christopher Davies wrote; “Here there are two good inns, the “Swan,” and the “Maid’s Head,” and there are plenty of good boats  for hire at the waterside.

Womack 1880s

An artist and possibly another photographer are portrayed in this scene captured at Womack Water by Payne Jennings. Suffling noted; “Womack is so small that it can scarcely be dignified by the name of a Broad, but what there is of it is pretty; the old tower of Ludham Church trying to catch a glimpse of its tall head in the water by peeping over the tree tops, adds to the beauty of the little pool. To reach Womack Pool the yachtsman must keep a bright look out on the left side of Thurne River for Womack Dyke. It has a very narrow opening and may be easily missed. Leave the yacht and entering the dingy, take a pull of three-quarters of a mile, and behold little Womack Pool with its old boat-builder’s yard and reedy nooks – a bijou Broad.” The boatbuilder mentioned would probably have been Robert Harrison.

Hickling Pleasure Boat Inn 1880s

The Pleasure Boat Inn at Hickling with two trading wherries moored at the staithe. The photograph was obviously taken a little while before the publication of Sun Pictures as Suffling told us;“The Pleasure Boats Inn,’ kept by host Beales, who has numerous sailing and rowing boats at his disposal for letting to visitors. Finding the number of persons anxious to secure his rooms increasing rapidly, he has had additions made to the house, which is now double the size of that shown in the photograph. As there is no other inn adjoining the Broad, he has virtually a monopoly of the visitors, but they are quite safe in his hands, for he treats them very fairly.

Great Yarmouth 1880s

This photograph was titled “Home from the Broads” and depicted a yachting party returning to Great Yarmouth at the end of their holiday. The town Hall and the previous Haven Bridge can be seen in the background. As an encouragement to would be holidaymakers, Suffling told us; “If anyone is in want of a thorough change, a bright bracing atmosphere, an economical holiday with plenty of items of interest in it, a holiday free from fatigue and house-hunting, let him ‘Try the Broads’.

Great Yarmouth 1880s

Another view of Great Yarmouth - two trading wherries head out from Haven Bridge on the River Yare towards Breydon Water. The wherry in the foreground is heavily loaded with timber and has presumably just been quanted through the bridge.

Coldham Hall 1880s

Coldham Hall Inn on the River Yare. The licensee in the 1880s was Edward Brown who was also listed as being a corn merchant and fishing boat proprietor as well as running the foot ferry which operated at this point on the Yare for many years. Suffling’s notes from Sun Pictures stated;“This prettily-situated Inn has good accommodation at all times for visitors and experience teaches that not only can ample refreshment be obtained here but also ample sport, as many of the brethren of the rod can testify. The river is deep and broad and is noted for its large bream and roach. ‘Pegged down’ matches are sometimes held hereabouts, and at weighing-in time good takes are often recorded.


Trading wherry at Coldham Hall 1880s

A trading wherry pictured leaving Coldham Hall. Suffling continued;“It may be noted that there is undisputed right to the public of shooting on all the Norfolk and Suffolk rivers, and during the winter months some excellent bags of mallard, teal, grebe, water-hen, coot, golden plover, wild duck, etc., are made. In the summer when the quiet nooks are haunted by visitors more than by birds, guns will be better left at home, as bagging a tourist would be a sad ending to a happy holiday.

Bruindall riverside 1880s

The riverside at Brundall pictured in the 1880s. Suffling’s description of Brundall was;“It is a wonder this small hamlet is not used more than it is by fishermen and yachtsmen, as the station is only about 100 yards from the river bank. Yachts may be moored here, and boats for fishing or sailing hired. As the station is only eight miles from Norwich, a run of a few minutes suffices for visitors to reach this capital angling station. H. Flowers, ‘Yare Inn,’ is the principal boat owner.”  This area is now occupied by Brooms, the Yare Hotel can be seen just to the right of the tree on the right. Suffling mentioned the Yare Inn - William Whites 1883 directory of Norfolk stated that H.Flowers was the proprietor of the Yare Boating and Angling Station which was listed as having a “refreshment room”. In fact The Yare Inn was only an off licence at this time, a full licence being granted in 1892 when James Henry Fawcett became the licensee. Fawcett was listed in the 1891 edition George Christopher Davies “Handbook to the Rivers and Broads of Norfolk & Suffolk” as having Yachts, Wherries and Boats for hire and “yachts etc. housed”. The boat builder George Mollett also had his yard at Brundall around this time (c1890) at the bottom of Staithe Lane and it was here that he built the famous racing yachts “Castanet” and “Gossip”.  Henry Augustus Little was recorded as having a boatyard at Brundall in Kelly’s 1896 directory - he went on to form the Norfolk Broads Yachting Company with Frank Harding Chambers in 1898 and the company had further yards at Wroxham and Potter Heigham. The Brundall yard was sold to C.J. Broom in 1905.

Bramerton Woods End 1880s

The Woods End Inn at Bramerton;“There are few persons in Norwich who have not at some time in their lives visited ‘Bramerton Wood’s End’ and enjoyed themselves. It is to the Norwich holiday maker what Rosherville Gardens is to the Londoner, ‘The place to spend a happy day.’ It is very beautifully situated on the Banks of the Yare, about five miles from Norwich by water, so that it is within an easy pull of the Cathedral City. The Gardens in summer are a blaze of colour, as the landlord is a practical gardener and takes great pride in his extensive grounds which run for some distance by the water side” wrote Suffling. The 7 acre pleasure gardens which had been laid out at the Woods End were an extremely popular destination during the late 19th century and pleasure steamers, including the Jenny Lind, would run trips from Norwich on a daily basis.

Oulton Broad 1880s

Oulton Broad. In “Sun Pictures” this scene was described by Suffling thus;“This view depicts the East or busy end of the Broad which can usually boast of more yachts than any of the others as it lies so close to Lowestoft, two miles distant. Visitors can by passing through the lock into Lake Lothing and thence into Lowestoft Harbour, enjoy a sea trip whenever the sea is calm enough for a small yacht to venture out, which is nearly the whole of the summer. The house in which the erudite George Borrow, of ‘Romany Rye’ and ‘The Bible in Spain’ fame, lived and died, stands close to the edge of the Broad on the right hand. ” George Christopher Davies noted that; This is the most civilized of all the Broads, and is always gay with yachts sailing about, and populous with yachts lying at their moorings.

Oulton Broad 1880s

Another view of Oulton Broad about which Suffling commented;“This view shows the end of the Broad which forms the winter quarters of the various yachts which are only commissioned for summer cruising. Scores of yachts here float safely at anchor during the winter storms awaiting the coming spring, when they expand their white sails again and scud away to their various summer stations ready for the coming of the visitors. The peculiarly constructed building towards the left of the picture is an Ice-house.

Beccles riverside 1880s

The last picture in this collection taken by John Payne Jennings in the late 1880s is of Beccles which Suffling described as; “A town of considerable importance, is built upon the right bank of the Waveney in a commanding position. The Church is one that should not be missed by visitors, as it is among the finest specimens of ecclesiastical architecture in Norfolk.” and continued; “There are several angling clubs in the town, which find plenty of amusement for their members during the winter months, as the stretch of river on either side of the town is noted for its numerous pike, which during the season are weighed-in by the score.

Peter Henry Emerson


Peter Henry Emerson was also photographing Broadland at the same time as John Payne Jennings, but whilst Jennings captured scenes which were very much idyllic views of The Broads aimed at the tourist market, Emerson’s photographs often portrayed  rural life and the people of Broadland. Emerson was born in Cuba in 1856, the son of an English mother and an American father. Henry Ezekial Emerson left Massachusetts for Cuba in 1826 to manage coffee plantations and Peter Henry (christened Pedro Enrique) was the eldest of three children. His father died in 1867 and, with increasing levels of civil unrest in Cuba, Emerson was dispatched to England for schooling in 1869, later training to become a surgeon and gaining his medical degree in 1885. During the early 1880s he developed an interest in photography and in 1886 abandoned his career to concentrate on photography and writing, his first published work being “Life and Landscape on the Norfolk Broads” in 1887. Emerson saw photography as an art form and he developed a form of photography which he called “naturalism” where he aimed to capture what the human eye saw in his images. His views caused much controversy within the photographic societies and institutions of the time. His friend, the landscape artist Thomas Frederick Goodall often advised Emerson on suitable subjects and composition, and was co-credited in several of Emerson’s publications including Life and Landscape. As well s producing collections of photographs, Emerson also wrote books about the Norfolk Broads, probably the most well known being “On English Lagoons” which was an account of a year spent on board the wherry “Maid Of The Mist” with his companion Jim. Published in 1893, it paints a fascinating picture of Broadland at the end of the 19th century. The following photographs are a selection taken from Emerson’s “Life and Landscape of the Norfolk Broads”.

Coming Home From The Marshes

This is probably one of P.H. Emerson’s most famous images of Broadland - “Coming Home From The Marshes”.

Towing The Reed

“Towing The Reed”

During The Reed Harvest

“During The Reed Harvest”

Ricking The Reed

“Ricking The Reed”

Marshman Going To Cut Schoof-Stuff

“Marshman Going To Cut Schoof-Stuff”

Next Prev Top