Radwinter History

Paintings of Radwinter


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The Radwinter Watercolours

A Mr David Eldridge has a small book contains pencil sketches and a larger volume with a selection of watercolours. Among these were a number of pictures of Radwinter. There is no indication as to the artist who was evidently paying visits around the country, suggesting a lady with servants and leisure time.

The Radwinter sketches and paintings show views of the Church from Princes Well, the garden of Radwinter Hall Farm and two of the Wovor. The drawings were made in 1855 and the paintings in July 1861 and August 1862, suggesting a Radwinter resident or someone who made frequent trips here.

The pond called the Wovor, is only know from oral history and the spelling has been suggested by the German word, ‘wovor’, which means ‘before or from which or what’, a highly likely name for the first pond in the series of medieval fishponds which are on the site.

It is possible that the artist was a daughter of John Davis who tenanted Radwinter Hall Farm at the time of the paintings. His eldest daughter Mary was a spinster aged 37 on 8th June 1874 when she married James Brown, widower aged 57 of the parish of Greenstead, Colchester. Mary is a likely candidate as she was in possession of the Baynes family crest, presumably removed from Radwinter Hall. She may have moved around with James Brown or, before that, been with another family perhaps as a lady's maid. The other candidate might be Helen Davies, Mary’s sister, who at the age of 31 married William Davies King, aged 30, of Sisted on 31st July 1872.

church from princes well

The Church from Princes Well

the woovor

The Wovor, church and cottage