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The Changing  Landscape


Mr. H. Ransome standing on his horse-drawn roller c.1920

photo courtesy of Basil Ransome

Hall Lane, 1870

Haymaking in Clippesby 1911

photos courtesy of Jamie Kenworthy

These charming pictures above of Summer work in the fields of Clippesby were photographed over a hundred years ago; they were kindly sent to us by Jamie Kenworthy from Alaska; they come from the collection of his late father, Nelson Attlee Kenworthy. In the last two pictures Jamie's grandparents are shown talking to the haymakers.

Harvesting in Clippesby in the 1980s

Harvesting in Clippesby 2014

Haymaking in Clippesby, 2014

Time study:-

Collecting the bales,

36 seconds for 2 bales

Look away, and you've

missed it.

photo courtesy of Jamie Kenworthy

The Clippesby Oak


This tree was famous on account of its

remarkable size, and was drawn and named on

contemporary maps.  It is said that it needed six men to link hands round its trunk.  The two figures in this photo, and the distance they are away from the photographer, give you an idea of its stature.

Tragically it was destroyed by lightning in about 1913.  A long poem about this tree was published in a poetry collection by the contemporary artist and poet, Peregrine Feeny,  at one time a resident of Clippesby Hall.

The changing fate of the Clippesby Old Hall

The chimneys on the present Clippesby Rectory, built by Henry Muskett

The first picture is the only one we have of the Old Hall. It is taken from a photograph of the North Front c.1903. Were these ornate Tudor chimneys re-used when the Rev. Henry Muskett built his new Rectory? Some of the old flint walls still exist.

The present Clippesby Hall (as it once was)

In the days of the Old Hall this was known as Clippesby House

The first nine pre-

WW1 photos are courtesy of Jamie Kenworthy, whose father, Nelson Kenworthy, lived here as a boy,  c 1911

It lost its upper story after the terrible winter of 1947

photo: Peter Bower

pre 2010


Nelson's clock at Clippesby Hall

The lost (replaced) clock tower

Clippesby Clock (Ben)

The modern clock tower

The (nearly) Lost Lake - in the field opposite the entrance to the present Clippesby Hall

Before the two World Wars this was a peaceful beauty spot, used by the Feaney/Kenworthy family and, later, the Bower family for enjoyment and relaxation.  In the first photo, Clippesby Hall can clearly be seen at the top of the rise.  Landsaped walks of flowering shrubs skirted around the edge of the lake. The first eleven photos are courtesy of Jamie Kenworthy, and show some of his father's family who lived in the Hall a hundred years ago.

1985 these five photos: Pauline Willmott

these four photso: Peter Bower

Clippesby Lake was still a place of beauty and relaxation until WW2 when of necessity it fell into disuse as a pleasure ground. By the 1950's, though still pretty, the paths were difficult to walk having become overgrown. Now by 2014 reeds have almost entirely taken over; boat, jetty and footpath are gone - a small area of water remains at the far end , and very few people are even aware of the lake's existence.

April 2015

(Short video showing more ~ "Clippesby's Secret" ~ on Videos page)

Clippesby Village Sign

Contrary to the press report, this was designed by Mandy Cooke (nee Youngs) now of Oby, who, when she was a pupil at Acle, won a competition to design the sign.  It was painted by the Youngs in their front garden

The mill shown is Clippesby Mill.  As far as we know its only claim to fame is the fact that it often features in works by Broads artists and photographers

The whole story of the sign and its restoration in 2016 is told here:

At the junction of Hall Lane and the B1152 (also showing The Lost Seat)

Site of the Lost Cottage, Billockby Corner, where Mrs. Abel's  cottage stood.

She had a shed in her garden where she let schoolchildren & people put their bicycles when catching  one of the frequent buses to Norwich or Yarmouth. Bus drivers who carried parcels in those far off days would leave them for collection with her.

The Lost Barn  ~  High Barn A prominent landmark situated in the field behind Adam & Eve.  Lost in the gale, October 1989.  (The electricity pole remains)

There was a deep well at this barn.  Electricity was brought to the barn to draw water for the pigs which were kept here.  From here on the cables go underground to the back of Clippesby Hall

The pole, standing alone in the middle of nowhere, bears the label "High Barn"

Modern barn conversions in Clippesby

The lower end of Clippesby village, spread along the B1152, (Clippesby Low Road) as it was in 1985.  Gradually many of the gaps have been filled in by new houses.

Continuing to the left of the picture, South House Farm and another lost barn, at the top of the "hill".

Stone Cottage in 1985 (also visible:-  large barn at South House Farm)

Grove Road (private road) leading from Hall Lane near Hall Farm down onto the marsh

Grove Road Cottages

Buttercup meadow

View over the marshes from the main road (B1152) from a point close to South House Farm ~ 1985

In the middle distance is the tiny aircraft hangar where "Hughie" Showell kept his aeroplane.  He made history by flying solo in it to Australia

The Lost Chapel

This was situated in the line of cottages on Clippesby Low Road (the B1152) .Later, as in this photo, converted into a cottage

A new cottage, Chapel House, now stands here

photo: Jean Lindsay

Squadron Leader Henry Jacobs on a visit to Clippesby in 1949, showing a very quiet Low Road (later called the B1152) and part of South House Farm Barns, with the milk churns from which Mrs. Key would serve the village daily.


The Advent of the Reservoir ~ Clippesby gets the hump!

Spot the difference -


This changed the contours of the field behind Clippesby Hall, hiding the open view across the fields, but at the same time bringing opportunities for an area of wildlife to develop and flourish.

Heavy machinery rumbled twelve hours a day for several months. . .

A year later course grasses and some tough plants had battled through the heavy clay. .

Two years later, nature triumphs over the dry clay - Clippesby has an area where wild plants and flowers flourish freely. . .     Where have they all come from?

Nature colonises the clay ~ the reservoir's first year

. . . coltsfoot, ragwort, scarlet pimpernel, daisies, ground ivy, lesser & greater willowherb. . .

                                                   the list will grow as the months go by. . .

By 2014 the reervoir has also become a poplular gathering place for birds ~ mainly Brent geese, in their hundreds, for two days there were a pair of bar-headed geese, possibly resting on a long migratory journey, occasionally oystercatchers, tufted ducks and cormorants. . . and of course the ubiquitous seagulls.

From serene reflections to stormy waves, the reservoir offers ever-changing photo-opportunities. . .       

see  another short slide show in Nature & Countryside

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