In 1888 Lord and Lady Battersea acquired two undistinguished red brick houses known as 'The Cottage' on the coast at Overstrand, near Cromer, in Norfolk. After commissioning the young Edwin Lutyens to remodel them they renamed the house 'The Pleasaunce', and Lord Battersea, who, according to his wife, proved 'an ardent gardener', set about creating a garden of considerable renown. Dramatically situated on the top of a cliff, it boasted, in addition to the rose garden depicted here, a formal garden with a large fountain, a sunken garden reached by cloisters veiled with creepers, a Japanese garden with streams and pagodas, and, beyond an orchard and cricket pitch, a huge 'Tudor' herbaceous border which stretched for a hundred yards on either side of a nine foot path.
This view of the rose garden was one of several painted for the Batterseas by Beatrice Parsons who travelled widely in England, France and even North Africa, recording gardens for her patrons. She is best known for her views of 'Old English' gardens, of the type popularised by William Robinson, Inigo Thomas and Gertrude Jeykyll. Many of these she exhibited at the Royal Academy or with Arthur Greatorex and the Dowdeswell Galleries.
Other views by Parsons of the gardens at Overstrand are illustrated in Penelope Hobhouse and Christopher Wood, Painted Gardens, 1988, pp.184-7.