Nina Carroll (1932-1990) was a designer of murals, an illustrator of children’s books and a watercolour artist. She studied at Cheltenham School of Art and at the Ruskin School, Oxford. She lived in Kettering and later in Oxford. Her husband, John Steane, was headmaster of Kettering Grammar School in 1964 to 1976. Both Nina and her husband were founder members of the Kettering Civic Society, and John became their first Secretary. She exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Royal Society of Watercolour Painters, the Society of Women Artists and the New England Art Club. Her works are in the collection of the Guildhall Museum, Northampton and the Alfred East Art Gallery in Kettering, amongst others.
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West Pier, Brighton (1978)
A pen, ink and watercolour measuring 15½” x 18¾”. Signed Nina Carroll and dated 1978. Inscribed: ‘Copy of Brighton West Pier for West Pier Restoration Exhibition’. Inscribed verso: ‘Nina Carroll, Cogges Manor Farm, Witney’.
Brighton West Pier was built in 1866…
…to the designs of the engineer Eugenius Birch. The Pavilion at the pier head was built in 1893 as a concert hall and was converted into a 1000-seat theatre in 1903. The Pier declined in the 1960s-70s and was closed for safety reasons in 1975, following a public campaign the preceding year to stop its demolition. In 1978 the Official Receiver passed the ownership of the Pier to the Crown Estate Commissioners, and the West Pier Trust was formed with sole right to operate the Pier. Partial restoration work was carried out in the 1980s-90s with HLF funding. In March 2003 the Pavilion was destroyed in an arson attack, and there was a further arson attack in May 2003 which lead to almost complete destruction of the Pier. HLF funding for the restoration project was withdrawn. The skeletal ruin of the Pavilion has become an iconic feature of Brighton’s seafront.
Eastbourne Pier (1978)
A pen, ink and watercolour measuring 15½” x 18¾”. Signed Nina Carroll and dated 1978. Inscribed: ‘Eastbourne / Adaptation for Restoration of West Pier Exhibition’.
The Pier at Eastbourne, Sussex was built in 1870 to the designs of the engineer Eugenius Birch…
…A 1000-seat theatre was built at the seaward end in 1901 but it was destroyed by fire in 1970 and rebuilt as a showbar. Two saloons were built mid-way along the Pier in 1901, and in 1925 a 900-seat music pavilion was constructed at the shoreward end.
The painting was made for an exhibition in 1978 for the restoration of the West Pier in Brighton. Brighton West Pier had been built in 1866 also to the designs of Eugenius Birch, but had declined in the 1960s-70s and was closed for safety reasons in 1975. In 1978 the Official Receiver passed the ownership of the Pier to the Crown Estate Commissioners, and the West Pier Trust was formed.
Gates of Manfield Hospital, Northampton
A pen, ink and watercolour measuring 14¾” x 18¾”. Signed Nina Carroll. Inscribed: ‘Northampton May 2nd 1975 / Gates of Manfield Hospital’.
Entrance gateway of the former Manfield Hospital on Kettering Road, built in 1899-1902…
…as a substantial mansion for Sir Philip Manfield, a Northampton shoe manufacturer. The architect was Charles Dorman. The gateway has limestone carriageway piers flanked by ironstone walls; pine trees are visible beyond.
Former Barratt Footshape Bootworks, Northampton
A pen, ink and watercolour measuring 15½” x 19½”. Signed Nina Carroll. Provenance: sometime with Savage Fine Art, Northampton (label verso).
This boot manufacturing business was established in 1903 and the factory…
…on Agnes Road was built in 1913. It is one of the finest examples of the work of Alexander Ellis Anderson, born in 1866, who had an architectural practice in Northampton (established in 1893). It has Baroque terracotta decorations by Gibbs & Canning, and lettering in the parapet which is typical of Anderson’s designs. It was converted into apartments in 1979 by Ellis Williams Partnership.
Market Square, Northampton
A pen, ink and watercolour measuring 15” x 18½”. Signed Nina Carroll.
The Market Square in Northampton is one of the largest in England…
…and was described by Daniel Defoe in the 18th century as one of the handsomest in England. This painting is a view of the south side of the Market Square, with the tower of All Saints’ Church in the background, as well as the copper dome of the Nationwide building (formerly Westminster Bank).
Boarstall Tower, Buckinghamshire
A pen, ink and watercolour measuring 14¾” x 19¼”. Signed Nina Carroll.
Boarstall Tower is a 14th-century moated gatehouse. It was built by John de Haudlo and was once part of a fortified manor house, set in gardens. It is now in the care of the National Trust.
Theatre Royal, Windsor, Berkshire
A pen, ink and watercolour measuring 15¼” x 19”. Signed Nina Carroll. Inscribed in pencil verso: ‘Theatre Royal, Windsor’.
The Theatre Royal nestles in the shadow of…
…Windsor Castle and produces a wide repertoire, ranging from the classics and pantomime to new works. The present building was constructed in 1910 on the site of an early 19th century theatre which had been destroyed by fire.
Greenhouses at 64 Banbury Road, Oxford
A pen, ink and watercolour measuring 15” x 18½”. Signed Nina Carroll and inscribed: ‘greenhouses / 64 Banbury Rd, Oxford / Nina Carroll /Feb 1975’.
No. 64 Banbury Road is a detached 1860s yellow-brick villa in a Gothic style, built as part of the…
…Norham Manor estate in the Victorian suburb of North Oxford. The estate was laid out by William Wilkinson, who also designed some of the houses, illustrated in his English Country Houses of 1870. The first occupants of the estate were mainly the richer tradespeople of the city, but by the end of the 19th century there were many college dons living there, as well as outsiders attracted by the social cachet of the fashionable suburb. No. 64 now houses the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology, part of the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography at the University of Oxford.