The spectacular views of William Garrow’s seaside property in the Kent village of Pegwell have been captured by artists in famous paintings. The white chalk cliffs that border the property on Pegwell Bay drop straight down to the water’s edge. As the tide goes out, the water recedes exposing a beach at the bottom of the cliffs. Visitors are drawn to explore the nooks and crannies of the cliffs, and the shells, rocks and underwater plants that inhabit the ocean’s edge.
One artist that painted this scene was William Dyce. About eighteen years after Garrow died in his Pegwell villa in 1840, Dyce painted what was sometimes considered one of the most popular landscape paintings in England at the end of the 19th century. It is called, “Pegwell Bay. A Recollection of October 5th, 1858” and now hangs in the Tate Britain museum of art. You can view the painting by clicking this internet address: http://www.tate.org.uk/servlet/ViewWork?workid=4063
I have enjoyed viewing this painting in the Tate, as I have enjoyed exploring the exposed ocean floor blow the cliffs of what was the Garrow property. In doing so it is easy to imagine what it might have been like for William and Sarah Garrow to raise their family in this setting. In my mind’s eye I can see the children playing at the water’s edge. With a little more imagination I can view Lady Garrow, as she was recalled by the local historians, riding her horse, splashing along the water’s edge. She was remembered by her family as a skilled horse woman.
With the help of one of my photographs of Garrow’s cliff and the seashore directly below the Garrow property, one can compare the view as seen by William Dyce in the 1850s and today’s visitors.