Trowse Pumping Station is identified by Norwich City Council as a designated Heritage Asset to be considered in the development of a masterplan for the Deal Ground site. This tall red and black brick building was constructed in 1865 to 1871 by Bazalgette to pump sewage from the North and South Interceptor Sewers to Whitlingham Sewage farm. It was known as Trowse Pumping Station, and also pumped into the adjacent river using three beam engines. The works were fed by gravity, and the pumps were used for ejection onlly.
Planning and the Environment
Bracondale is the main historic route leading out of Norwich to the south. Its name, deriving from ‘a dale of bracken or brakes’, gives an indication of the formerly rural nature of this part of the city. Although there were some early buildings here including the 11th-century St Nicholas Chapel, and much later the Tower House and the Manor House, it was not until the 18th century that development really started outside the city walls. In 1850, Jeremiah James Colman bought land at Carrow and the establishment of the Carrow Works had a great impact on the built environment.
The area continued to change with a number of high quality, small-scale housing developments in the 20th century. These include Bracondale Court (1937) by an Indian architect, D C Wadhwa, and Conesford Drive (1960s) by the local firm of Lambert and Innes.
There is also a broad sweep of land, from The Wilderness around the City walls, through the gardens of the Grove and the Repton designed parkland surrounding County Hall and the landscape around Carrow Abbey. Muntjack deer and foxes are regular visitors to our gardens!
Bracondale itself has many listed buildings and more information about them can be found here:
The City Council’s Conservation Area Appraisal has more details of the history and development of the area and can be accessed here.
Association members take an active role in the care of the environment. One group carries out litter picking and control of vegetation on the steps and paths around the City Walls between Carrow Hill and King Street. And other individuals look after the flower bed near the Ber Street Gates and planters next to the Association bench at the junction with Carrow Hill and by the traffic lights at the King Street junction. Please contact Hugh Tempest-Radford (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to get involved or want to report on litter collection or street cleaning.
There are also volunteers who work on woodland conservation in Netherwood Green woods. Contact can be made with email@example.com (TCV is national but organised locally).
Current developments and planning issues
Norfolk County Council has recently awarded itself permission to extend County Hall car-parking facilities by building a ‘deck’ over the existing main car park (site of the demolished early-19th century Bracondale Lodge, and gardens and park designed by Humphry Repton). Although there has been spirited BRA opposition to this development on grounds of environment, changed staff working patterns and vehicle use since Covid (and the estimated £1.9 million cost of extending the parking facilities), it is now certain that the development will proceed and include further drainage and car parking provision surrounding the County Hall annexe. To receive by email the monthly NCC newsletter reporting progress on this development, apply to the Senior Project Manager for Norse Commercial Services firstname.lastname@example.org stating your name and address.
Other matters of interest
THE BERSTRETE GATES PANEL
The Bracondale Residents’ Association with The Norwich Society wish to thank all those who helped restore a striking local landmark: the bas relief panel on the Berstrete Gates Public House at the intersection of Bracondale, Ber Street, City and Queens Roads.
The panel depicts the Ber Street gate in 1720 and has been a prominent feature on the SE approach to Norwich since its installation by John Moray-Smith in 1937. Sadly by 2018 it had lost its vibrant colours and was seriously dilapidated.
Thanks to the enthusiastic response to our funding appeal, it is now in superb condition following extensive restoration by Tom Humphrey, Sophie Barrett and team from the Fairhurst Gallery in Norwich.
We are grateful to so many for making this happen including Keri Williams of the Bracondale Residents Association, who led the appeal; the Norwich Society and its members; the John Jarrold, Paul Bassham and R C Snelling charitable trusts; the pub owner, Hang Pham, managers, Lynn & Bill Loader, and their customers; the Bracondale Residents’ Association members and their History Group who donated a substantial portion of the proceeds from their Bracondale book sales; and the many others whose supported the appeal.
The artist, John Moray-Smith, produced a series of these panels in the 1930s, including two recently restored by The Norwich Society: the Norwich Panorama and the mural on the Coachmakers Arms in St Stevens Road. There is more information in the booklet published in 2017 by The Norwich Society on Moray-Smith including a photo of the Berstrete panel in 1970.