The Wealth Of Marshland
Photographer: Emerson, Peter Henry
Medium: Photographic print
"Many of the marshes which were formerly covered with coarse plants unfit for fodder, have now been thoroughly drained and so made to yield rich crops of grass. Either for grazing or hay-crops the Norfolk marshes are now deemed valuable property, and some of those around Yarmouth bring high rentals to their proprietors. Hay is veritably the wealth of the marshland, although the farmer cultivates some of his marshes, growing thereon roots, beans, and other crops...Our plate gives a typical Norfolk marsh-road bordered on either hand by the marshes, on some of which the mowers are busy at work, on others the haymakers are pitching and tossing the hay, whilst on others again the haycocks can be seen standing in regular rows ready for the tumbrils. Our carter is returning from the field where the haycocks are visible, with his waggon-load of sweet-scented hay, and he stands holding his horse's head, whilst the boy opens the gate through which his cart must pass on its way to the rick-yard. Stretching far away can be seen the white dusty road with the gates on either hand leading into the adjoining marshes, whilst on the left, in the distance, a tall, well-grown willow is outlined against the sky with delicate touch. One after the other will these carts pass along this road until nightfall puts an end to their journeys, and the wearied workers seek their cottage homes."
Text by Peter Henry Emerson from the book 'Idyls of the Norfolk Broads'