Friday, February 5, 2016

The Manor at the end of the Howland Great Wet Dock (now Greenland Dock)

Update:  Thanks to Phil (@BermondseyBeat) on Twitter for solving the mystery.  There is a colour image of it and a full record for it at Collage (Guildhall Art Gallery and London Metropolitan Archives) here:;jsessionid=81444C987D188671B61EE87B615CC857?service=external/Item&sp=ZGreenland+Dock&sp=30022&sp=X

This picture is taken from The Reverend E.J. Beck’s book “Memorials to Serve for the Parish of St Mary Rotherhithe” published in 1907 by Cambridge University Press.  Beck does not say where he obtained the image, which is a real frustration because it would be lovely to know more about the painter and where the painting is now located.

We know that the house was built at the same time as the Howland Great Wet Dock, which was built in 1696-1700.  The caption says that the house belongs to J. Wells Esq, (who was a local ship builder who invested in the Howland Great Wet Dock and its later expansion), having bought it from the “old Duke of Bedford who formerly resided there” and that the drawing is made in 1706.  There appears to be some writing in white at the base of the image in the dark area at centre, but it’s completely illegible.  There is also a sign shown on the building at far left, but I can’t make out what it says.  The scan is quite a good copy of a very poor black and white image.

I would very much like to know more about the painting.  As I said above, the current location of the painting would be good, as would the artist's name.  The obvious course of action is to  contact the Southwark Local History Library and Sands Picture library but I wondered if anyone reading this knows anything about it?

1 comment:

Officer Dibble said...

let me google that for you...