Rushout’s Wanstead 1824-1832

Anne Rushout | Rushout’s Wanstead | Rushout on Tour

Anne Rushout was a friend of Catherine Tylney-Long, the heiress of Wanstead House.

Here are some images of Wanstead, painted by Lady Anne Rushout


Wanstead Grove c.1829 from the long ornamental lake


wanstead grove temple view

Looking down towards the Temple – which now stands in a garden in Grove Road


Wanstead Grove Panorama

Panorama of rear of Wanstead Grove and the Temple


Wanstead Grove Gazebo

Gazebo in grounds of Wanstead Grove c.1829


Wanstead Grove 1825

Front elevation of Wanstead Grove


Wanstead Grove West - rear1825

Delightful rural setting to rear of Wanstead Grove


rear of Grove Cottage

Rear of Grove Cottage – once stood at of junction Nutter Lane/Leicester Road


Grove cottage 1825

Grove Cottage…. beautiful


From portico of Wanstead Grove 1825

View from the portico of Wanstead Grove – towards George Lane


from flower garden wanstead grove

c.1829 Flower Garden on Grove Estate


Mr Monk Cottage Wanstead May 1829

Mr Monk’s Cottage, Wanstead – I wonder where this was?


Nightingale Place 1829

Nightingale Place (1829) – Curve of Nightingale Lane towards the pub already evident


Lodge at Wanstead Grove 1828

The Lodge at Wanstead Grove – front part of which may still survive in resident’s back garden


From dining room at Wanstead Grove

Not a bad view from Lady Anne’s dining room at Wanstead Grove


flower garden wanstead grove

Another view of the flower garden Wanstead Grove


Cottage near Snaresbrook

‘Cottage near Snaresbrook’ c 1829


All images courtesy of Yale University – Accessed on line November 8th 2014

If you are interested in tales of Wanstead you might like to read about Wicked William’s Hunt – part 4 of a brief history of the Epping Hunt



Lady Anne Rushout – Wanstead’s Forgotten Artist

Anne Rushout | Rushout’s Wanstead | Rushout on Tour


Lady Anne Rushout (1768-1849)

Modern day Wanstead likes to give a nod and a wink to former local citizens who have played a role in shaping its history. We know all about statesmen Winston Churchill and Sir William Penn, of Sheridan the playwright and of course ‘Wicked’ William Wellesley. But curiously, Wanstead seems distinctly reluctant to celebrate its feminine connections – For example Wikipedia’s ‘notable residents’ of Wanstead list rather embarrassingly contains just one woman, soap-star Jesse Wallace, listed on the basis that she once lived the area!

The most undeservingly neglected lady in Wanstead’s history must be Lady Anne Rushout, who lived at Wanstead Grove from 1817-49.

Plimer 3 graces - Anne on Right 1809

Anne (left), with Harriet (centre) & Elizabeth (right)

Anne was the eldest daughter of John Rushout, Baron Northwick of Northwick Park (1738-1800) and spent a happy childhood with sisters Harriet (c.1770) and Elizabeth (1774). She was well educated: a keen artist, botanist, diarist and poet, celebrated for her grace and beauty. Yet she was not a conventional young woman, & refused to comply with the male-dominated society in which she lived.

ladies of llangollen

The Ladies of Llangollen – a bluestocking shrine

From a very early age Anne was interested in bluestocking literature, making several trips to Wales to visit the famous Ladies of Llangollen, and keeping a commonplace book filled with feminist prose. It is not known if Anne was lesbian, as her family attributed her strong aversion to marriage to the unfortunate death of her fiancé days before their wedding. I have searched the archives without success to corroborate this claim. But it seems likely that Anne came from a very liberal-minded and supportive family, who propagated this story to protect her reputation.

Wanstead Grove 1825

Wanstead Grove – designed and built by Anne Rushout

In 1817 Anne’s uncle George Bowles died, and she inherited Wanstead Grove. Originally purchased in 1759 by Humphry Bowles, it came with approximately 60 acres named the Grove Estate. It was rare for assets to pass to a female relative at this time, and more unusual still that Anne decided to demolished the house, sell off its ‘out-dated’ works of art, and construct a new magnificent mansion in its place.

Wanstead Grove was built between 1818 and 1824. As its completion coincided with the demolition of Wanstead House, it is likely that various fixtures and fittings sold to satisfy Wicked William’s creditors were snapped up by Anne to augment her new home. In fact Anne bought the very first item offered at the Wanstead House auction in 1822, attending most days afterwards – to pick and choose art and furnishings according to her taste.

In effect therefore, when Wanstead lost a behemoth of a mansion, it gained a successor at Wanstead Grove – which became the single most dominant property in the area. More importantly, Wanstead Grove and its beautifully laid out grounds were completely Anne’s creation – thus demonstrating that women were perfectly capable of operating in the hitherto exclusively male sphere of architecture and design.

Anne spent a great deal of her life at Wanstead Grove and was very much part of local society. Far from being reclusive she was always very charitable, leaving significant bequest to the poor of Wanstead after her death in 1849.

Wanstead Grove is long gone now, having been demolished in 1889 to make way for the Counties Estate. Some remnants of the formal gardens remain, such as the Temple (which once stood at the edge of a picturesque lake) and can be seen annually on Open House Day

But the real legacy Anne Rushout has left Wanstead can be seen in three volumes of drawings she made between 1824-1832, which can be found in the British Art collection at Yale University. She records a splendidly rural and naturally beautiful Wanstead at the end of the Regency era. All of these images are freely searchable over the internet, but I have decided to collate them together in two sections covering Wanstead, and further afield.

Disappointingly, Yale University describes Lady Anne as an ‘amateur artist’. This can only be because she was a woman, for it seems to me that her output and quality of work merits far more than label of a ‘hobby’. I hope that Yale and the people of Wanstead will reassess Lady Anne Rushout as an important proto-feminist, writer, and artist – worthy of full recognition and respect.

Further Information

Frustratingly for historians, Anne Rushout’s diaries covering 1791-1827 have been missing since the 1950s. As a frequent visitor to Wanstead House during Wicked William’s era of extravagance, she could have provided some valuable insight into what went on behind closed doors.

However, Anne’s journals 1828-1849 are in the possession of Senate House Library in London & her ‘commonplace book’ for the period 1776-1832, which is an extensive scrapbook of ephemera and jottings about fashionable life, can also be found at Yale University.

An excellent on-line history of Wanstead Grove complete with images of the Temple can be found here.

The Counties Resident Association has produced a great history of the Grove Estate

Kelly McDonald has written about Anne Rushout’s connection with Bersted Lodge

Anne Rushout on UK Tour – Some Regency Era Sketches

Anne Rushout | Rushout’s Wanstead | Rushout on Tour

Here are some images of various UK locations, painted by Lady Anne Rushout (1768-1849) of Wanstead Grove.

Anne Rushout was a friend of Catherine Tylney-Long, the heiress of Wanstead House. Click here to pre-order Geraldine Roberts’ book Angel and The Cad, which is based on our research, to be published by Pan MacMillan in June 2015

ely cathedral 1824

Ely Cathedral- 1829


The Mersey towards Toxteth Park on right 1829

The River Mersey looking towards ‘Toxteth Park- on the right c.1832


Southend 1832

Southend-on-Sea 1832 – still looks familiar


Hornsey Clock

Nice little self-portrait of Anne Rushout outside Hornsey Church


Menai Bridge 1830

The Menai Bridge (1830)


Ludlow Castle 1830

Ludlow Castle (1830)


Looking towards claybury 1826 self portrait

Essex, looking towards Claybury from Woodford – Lady Anne in foreground


Holkham2 - August 1824

Holkham House, June 1824


hatfield 1832

Hatfield House – 1832


Gwrych Castle 1830

Gwrych Castle 1830


finborough hall july 30 1824

Finborough Hall, 1824


Eastmor Castle 1829

Eastnor Castle, Herefordshire (1824)


Dover castle 1831

Dover Castle (1831)


Bridge and Caslt at Conwy

Bridge & Castle, Conwy (1830)


chichester 1828

Chichester, 1828


brighton pavilion 1828

An oblique view of Brighton Pavilion, 1828


Birkenhead Abbey 1830

Birkenhead Abbey ruins, 1830


bearsted lodge 1831

Bersted Lodge, near Bognor  (1831)


Alton Towers 1830

Alton Towers sans rollercoasters (1831)


All images courtesy of Yale University – Accessed on line November 8th 2014