The present picture is from a set of three views of Norton Hall painted by Boddington for Beriah Botfield in 1848. Norton Hall, near Daventry, in Northamptonshire, was acquired by Beriah Botfield's father, also named Beriah (1768-1813), who had augmented an already considerable fortune left to him by his own father, and who, according to J.P. Neale in his Views of Seats, published in 1825, completed additions to the house in 1808 which greatly improved it. The younger Beriah began to alter the house to his own taste on his coming of age in 1828. He established his own printing press there as early as 1830, on which, among other works, he published Stemmata Botevilliana, his own account of the Boteville or Botfield family. The house was not only a repository for his celebrated library but also home to his extensive picture collection, the catalogue of which he also printed privately in 1848. The house was demolished in 1945.
Henry John Boddington was the second son of the landscape painter Edward Williams but, after his marriage to Clara Boddington in 1832, he used the name Boddington to avoid confusion with other members of the Williams family who were also artists. He exhibited consistently at the Royal Academy from 1837 and also showed his work at the British Institution and the Royal Society of British Artists, Suffolk Street, and Ruskin praised his pictures for their honesty and true love of the countryside.
This picture, which shows the garden front of the house from the deer park, was included in Botfield's catalogue of his picture collection, printed privately in 1848 (op.cit.), along with two other views of the house by the artist; another view from the South East, of slightly different dimensions, and a view from the North East showing the entrance front and village church, as seen from Coneygree, which are also both signed with initials and dated 1848.