19 sculptures to visit around Norwich

PUBLISHED: 08:00 02 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:30 02 February 2020

Norwich sculptures and statues to visit. Credit: Denise Bradley/Steve Adams/Antony Kelly.

Norwich sculptures and statues to visit. Credit: Denise Bradley/Steve Adams/Antony Kelly.

Denise Bradley/Steve Adams/Antony Kelly

From Samson and Hercules to Stephen Fry, take a trip around the city centre to discover the sculptures and statues of Norwich.

Princess Alexandra with Professor Bernard Meadows' sculpture, 1970. Picture: Archant LibraryPrincess Alexandra with Professor Bernard Meadows' sculpture, 1970. Picture: Archant Library

1. Bernard Meadows, Public Sculpture


This sculpture by Bernard Meadows was made for the Eastern Counties Newspapers offices and print works in 1968. It has been listed by Historic England and was unveiled by Princess Alexandra when the offices opened in 1970. Norwich born, Meadows studied at the Norwich School of Art and went on to be Henry Moore's first assistant in 1936.

The two bronze heraldic lions on their journey to Norwich City Hall. Each worth £600, they are the work of Alfred Hardiman. Picture: Archant Library.The two bronze heraldic lions on their journey to Norwich City Hall. Each worth £600, they are the work of Alfred Hardiman. Picture: Archant Library.

2. Alfred Hardiman, Bronze Lions


The lions guard Norwich City Hall and face each other on either side of the steps. The lions pose as the singular lion does on Norwich city's coat of arms.

Samson and Hercules ballroom. Picture: Archant LibrarySamson and Hercules ballroom. Picture: Archant Library

3. Samson and Hercules replica statues

The statues seen outside the Samson and Hercules building are now replicas of the originals. One of the 17th century oak figures is in the collection of the Norfolk Museums Service. Samson's original figure dates to 1647, whilst Hercules is Victorian. The originals were taken away due to fragility after Samson's arm fell off in 1993. Samson and Hercules were both heroic mythological fighters. In the bible, God gave Samson a great strength which he later lost after being lured into falling asleep in the lap of Delilah and having his head shaven. He had admitted the secret of his strength to be his uncut hair. Hercules was also known for his strength and heroic actions as a Greek god.

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Amelia Opie looks out over 'her' street. Date: Aug 1975. Picture: EDP LibraryAmelia Opie looks out over 'her' street. Date: Aug 1975. Picture: EDP Library

4. Z. Leon (carving) and J. P. Chaplin (design), Amelia Opie


This is a statue of Amelia Opie wearing a Quaker costume looking towards Norwich Cathedral. Opie was a Norwich-based 19th Century author and a leading abolitionist, working to end slavery.

The scene at the unveiling of the statue of Sir Thomas Browne at the Haymarket on 19th October 1905. Picture: Archant LibraryThe scene at the unveiling of the statue of Sir Thomas Browne at the Haymarket on 19th October 1905. Picture: Archant Library

5. Henry Pegram, Sir Thomas Browne


Sir Thomas Browne was a polymath and author, whose fields covered science, religion and medicine, with a strong interest in the natural world. Browne gained a knighthood in 1671, before settling in Norwich in 1637 and dying on his birthday in 1682.

6. Bernard Reynolds, Parrot Head Rubio


Bernard Reynolds was commissioned by the Norfolk Contemporary Art Society to create a piece for the Sculpture Garden above Castle Quarter. The Parrot Head Rubio was developed from an earlier series of smaller parrot head sculptures, one of which is in the Castle Museum's collection. The heads were based on a macaw which belonged to Cedric Morris - another esteemed East Anglian artist.

7. Jonathon Clarke, Monument to Daedalus


Suffolk-based sculptor Jonathon Clarke was also commissioned by the society to create a piece for the Sculpture Garden. The helmet with visor is a tribute to Daedalus, a Greek mythological artist best known for creating the Labryinth.

8. Paul De Monchaux, Breathe


The bronze sculpture aims to celebrate life, juxtaposing the Sir Edwin Lutyens' war memorial adjacent to it, with 'The living honour the dead, only a breath divides them' written on the base of the statue.

9. George Edward Wade, Boer War Memorial


This memorial is for all those who fought in the war in South Africa (1899-1902). The Figure of Peace on top of the memorial places a sword back into her sheath, gladly marking the end of a brutal conflict.

10. Henry Pegram, Edith Cavell memorial


Born in Swardeston and educated in Norwich, Edith Cavell was a heroic war nurse known to have helped the wounded without discrimination of their allegiances. She was arrested for helping hundreds of soldiers escape during the First World War from German-occupied Belgium. The statue is a memorial to Edith Cavell, with a soldier presenting her bronze bust with a wreath. She is buried in the grounds of Norwich Cathedral, after being accused of treason and shot by a German firing squad.

11. The Erpingham Gate


The Erpingham gateway frames the west front of Norwich Cathedral. Decorated in ornate detail, the design includes the coat of arms of Sir Thomas Erpingham and his family members alongside scrolls inscribed with his motto 'yenk' meaning 'think'.

12. Frank Beverly, Virgin and Child and Dragon Fighter


This piece, situated on the gate to Norwich Cathedral grounds contains biblical references, including the dragon fighter which reflects the association that dragons had to the devil.

13. George Fullard, Mother and Child


With works in collections such as The Arts Council and the Tate, Fullard was a renowned sculptor of the 20th century. This piece, displayed in the Norwich Cathedral gardens, is believed to be based upon the Virgin Mary and the Christ child.

14. Thomas Milnes, Horatio Nelson


Norfolk born vice-admiral Horatio Nelson served in the Royal Navy as a British flag officer. He was commended for his years of inspirational acts of leadership which led to many British victories, before being shot during his victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.

15. George Gammon Adams, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington


Wellington was a leading military and political figure of the 19th Century, serving as a soldier and twice as Prime Minister. He is seen here in the boots, cloak and some other elements which he wore at Waterloo, which were modelled off actual pieces.

16. Naomi Blake, Mother and Child

Naomi Blake, born in Czechoslovakia, settled in London in 1952 and became a fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptures in 1993. Her works often portray embryonic forms surrounded by protective shapes. Blake's works mostly reflect her own experiences and are a legacy to the six million Jews who were killed, after 24 of her family members were murdered in the Holocaust. She had a hopeful vision of the future, aiming to display a vision to unite faiths and bring understanding between them.

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17. Anne and Patrick Poirier, Brain and Eye


This piece was commissioned by Norwich City Council as homage to Thomas Browne, who watches over the pieces on a pillar of his own. The pieces reflect Browne's mind and his life dedicated to religion, philosophy and science. The pieces help to create a social space through the inclusion of seats and benches and coloured lights in the ground.

18. Iron statues of Lord Nelson, Stephen Fry and Edith Cavell


The life-sized cast iron statues outside Norwich station were designed by Charlotte Smith, Rufus Child and Peter Allen, winners of a competition run by the city council within schools. The statues were commissioned by the Sustrans Connect 2 project, who received Big Lottery money to improve the city's cycling routes.

19. Dame Barbara Hepworth, Sea Form (Atlantic)


'Sea Form (Atlantic)' is part of a series of sculptures inspired by the coastline of Porthcurno. World renowned, Hepworth studied alongside Henry Moore and became a strong and major international figure in what was a man's world.

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