Your chance to name the newborn foal at historic city park

The new addition to the Deer Park in Old Catton 

The new addition to the Deer Park in Old Catton is a beautiful foal - Credit: Andrea Clarke

Some 140 years ago a beloved children's author gazed out of the windows of her home over a beautiful herd of horses grazing in a Norwich park.

What she saw inspired one of the nation's best loved books - Black Beauty. 

And now more than a century on city folk have been offered the chance to name the herd's newest addition.

A foal has been born in Old Catton's Deer Park - the scene which inspired Anna Sewell to write the 1877 classic. 

It is believed the novelist wrote the book from her desk in Old Catton's White House - which has become known as the Anna Sewell House -  where she would have enjoyed views over the Deer Park

Indeed the latest addition to the Deer Park is another - miniature - beautiful black horse.

The new-born foal in Old Catton Deer Park 

The new-born foal in Old Catton Deer Park - Credit: Kathy Branson

The owner of the horse has agreed for Evening News readers to name the city's new four-legged friend.

It comes as the park has been sold by Old Catton's Buxton family to Attleborough-based property company Devlin Developments earlier this year which has sparked fears over the future of the oasis.

Horses in Old Catton's Deer Park 

Horses in Old Catton's Deer Park - Credit: Kathy Branson

Kathy Branson, 63, chairwoman of the Deer Park Action Group said: "The horse owner is delighted to offer readers of the Evening News a ‘name the baby’ campaign for Little Black Beauty, the new foal. 

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"The Deer Park is an important site. When I was young growing up in Old Catton it was grazed by cows. Having something grazing there is a much-loved part of the community." 

The new born foal at the Deer Park

The new born foal at the Deer Park - Credit: David Stansfield

When Anna Sewell moved to Old Catton in her late forties, she depended on horses due to an ankle accident when she was a teenager.

She had no been able to walk properly and was seen travelling around the area by pony and trap.

A portrait of author Anna Sewell who wrote Black Beauty.

A portrait of author Anna Sewell who wrote Black Beauty. - Credit: Supplied

Now it's Norwich's chance to make the late Anna Sewell proud with a suitable name for the new addition to the Deer Park. 

Send your name ideas for the new foal by emailing ben.hardy@archant.co.uk - the top five will then be put forward for a reader's poll.

The Deer Park saga so far 

Located in the heart of Old Catton, the Deer Park is part of eighteenth-century landscape designer Humphry Repton’s vision for Catton Park. 

Historic England registered the park as Grade II*, making it a historic designed landscape of national significance.

A planning application for the park was turned down in 2004 but the green space - which is home to a variety of wildlife - has been untouched ever since. 

But Lee Devlin, of Devlin Developments, purchased the site from the Buxton family in the spring this year.

The Deer Park in Old Catton 

The Deer Park in Old Catton - Credit: Ben Hardy

Mr Devlin said he remained "open minded" over the future of the park but he has rejected an offer from the parish council to buy back the park.

He added he may build homes on a portion of the land.

A public petition has now been set up and villagers are invited to a public drop-in event on Saturday, July 9 in Old Catton Village Hall as part of a bid to get the park registered as an asset of community value.