Pulls Ferry – and time flows on

Pulls Ferry
Pulls Ferry, River Wensum, Norwich.
September 2014
Most of us are so wrapped up in our everyday pressures we often fail to stop and appreciate little gems in our familiar surroundings. Pulls Ferry marks the site where a channel from the River Wensum was made into a canal during the building of Norwich’s Norman Cathedral. High quality limestone was brought from Caen in France to build the Cathedral. Limestone shipped from France was ferried up the River Wensum and along the canal to the cathedral site. The flint archway and gatehouse tower in the photograph were built over the canal in the 15th century, and the house (obscured by summer foliage but visible in Victorian sketch) in the 16th century. The canal was eventually filled in sometime in the 1770s.

Pulls Ferry Sketch drawn 1896
Pulls Ferry
Sketch drawn 1896

During the 12th century it was important for Norwich as England’s second city to have prestigious buildings. The Cathedral together with Norwich Castle were conceived of as a pair and, significantly, as such a pair, they were both dressed with Caen stone. This is the same Caen limestone that was used for Canterbury Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London. It is possible to view the erection of such buildings, in an almost modern ‘corporate identity’ manner, as the powerful stamping of the Norman mark across the country during the 100 years that followed the taking of England by William the Conqueror and the Normans.

Now or then?
Now or then?
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Author: agnesashe

Artisan, blogger and passionate East Anglian working from home.

7 thoughts on “Pulls Ferry – and time flows on”

  1. Great shot – I’d say the sepia photo was from today only because there is a white sign on the post in both the colour and sepia one…is the church steeple from the drawing still back there?

    1. You are right! Sepia is 2014. The spire belongs to Norwich Cathedral which is on the modern skyline, but only from a higher viewpoint. With my Art Historian hat on I know that what appears at first glance to be an accurate, historical visual record is the artist’s interpretation. As with the sepia image authenticity is a flexible quality.

      1. Woo hoo – I love guessing right! Back to the artists interpretation – the reflection is also not an accurate depiction now that you’ve made me look closer.

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