Sand Picture

Little Janea??s cottage, Brading, Isle of Wight

..Alum Bay sand picturesa?|.. unique souvenirs from the Isle of Wight.

A picture made using coloured sands collected from Alum Bay, Isle of Wight.

The picture features Little Jane’s cottage in Brading, Isle of Wight, and was made in 1854. Apart from the sky, which is in watercolour, the whole picture is made from sand.

Alum Bay sand pictures were unique souvenirs from the Isle of Wight. In about 1839 a small group of local artists set up a centre at Newport for the production of the pictures. They featured local beauty spots, sea views, historic houses and local churches. Pictures of places featured in Legh Richmond’s Christian tract  ‘Annals of the Poor’ were also popular topics, as they had become tourist attractions. Little Jane’s cottage is one of those places.

Little Jane was one of Legh Richmond’s parishioners when he was vicar on the Isle of Wight. She was a young girl who had a strong Christian faith, and died at the age of 15 from consumption. Her faith and spiritual understanding impressed Legh Richmond, and he wrote about her in his ‘Annals of the Poor’.

Quick Facts

  • Made in 1854
  • Place featured Little Jane’s cottage, Brading, Isle of Wight
  • Made from sand from Alum Bay
  • Dimensions Height 10.5cm, Width 8cm
  • Made at Newport, Isle of Wight (probably)
  • Accession number NETCC: P.1986.1528


  • The antiquary and scientist Sir Henry Englefield wrote about the Alum Bay sands in his book in 1816. He said ‘the tints in the cliffs are so bright and so varied that they have not the aspect of anything natural’.

Did you know?

There are 21 recognised shades of coloured sands still collected from Alum Bay.

Fact Sheets

  • Look out for high quality images of sand pictures on www.historicimages.co.uk There is a sand picture featured there which shows Osborne House, the residence of Queen Victoria on the Isle of Wight.

Things to Do

  • Visit the Needles Pleasure Park and fill a glass or plastic shape with the sands which are still collected from Alum Bay.
  • Have a go at making your own sand picture.
  • Come and look at other sand pictures at Carisbrooke Castle Museum, by arrangement.

Give us your comments and stories!

Have a story about "Sand Picture", or simply want to tell us what you think?
Add your thoughts below. You can sign in with Google, Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo! to get your story posted straight away - or just post a comment to be published later.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Where is this item?

Why not make a day of it?

Let us help you plan a route and make a visit