Prisoners’ lot brought back to life in mural at Wymondham Heritage Museum
- Credit: Archant
Women once laboured there for hours on end, washing and drying clothes in conditions that can truly be called 'Victorian'.
And now a fascinating aspect of Wymondham Heritage Museum's past as a women's prison has been brought back to life in vivid detail thanks to a mural produced by artist and retired nurse Hilary Shuter.
Mrs Schuter spent 123 hours painting the mural, depicting washerwomen at the Bridewell - the building and former Victorian prison which houses the museum.
Mrs Shuter, who is also a volunteer steward at the museum, said: 'I had the germ of an idea of the laundry on holiday. I found pictures of Victorian laundries and did a small work-up.
'I started with an A4 sketch. I just held it and drew on the wall with chalk.
'I did outlines then painted the figures. I left the faces and flesh until last because it scared me.'
Mrs Schuter used clever perspective to paint the scene lined with laundry baskets, stretching around a corner.
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'I wanted to push the viewer's eye on through to the prison where they brought the baskets in.'
The museum is open Monday to Saturday 10am-4pm and 1pm-4pm on Sunday.