7 sculptures you must visit in Norfolk and Waveney – and what they mean

UEA Sculpture Park Novemeber 2019, Sainsbury Centre. Lynn Chadwick Crouching beast 2 1990 Pictures:

Crouching Beast II by Lynn Chadwick in front of the Sainsbury Centre on the UEA Campus. - Credit: Brittany Woodman

You're never short of artistic installations to see wherever you go in Norfolk, with plenty of impressive and intriguing sculptures dotted around the county.

Here are some of our favourites – and what they mean:

The Beasts, UEA

Taking pride of place outside the Sainsbury Centre, on the University of East Anglia campus, is a trio of sculptor Lynn Chadwick's later works.

Lion I, Beast Alerted I and Crouching Beast II were among the final pieces the artist produced, continuing the animal theme he established early in his career.


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The steel pieces were created to catch the light no matter how dull the weather, and have titles alluding to primal states of animalistic action, such as Howling Beast and Crouching Beast.

Stockfish Rack, King's Lynn

Blacksmiths at Fransham Forge have been involved in making a sculpture of a stock fish rack. Picture

Stockfish Rack was created by blacksmiths in 2009. - Credit: Ian Burt

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This 10ft tall steel example was commissioned by West Norfolk Council and created by the British Artist Blacksmith Association.

It includes 176 pieces, including oysters, fish, seaweed and even a mermaid's bra. It also features a hungry seagull with its eye on the fish.

The quirky sculpture, which represents the drying racks used to process one of the biggest imports to King's Lynn in centuries gone by, can be found by Marriott's Warehouse facing the River Great Ouse.

Brain, Norwich

The Hay hill sculpture in Norwich Artist Patrick Poirier with his brain sculpturePhoto: Adrian

The Hay Hill 'Brain' sculpture in Norwich, created by artist Patrick Poirier. - Credit: Adrian Judd

One of the more unusual pieces of art found in the city, the giant marble brain in Norwich's Hay Hill was created by French sculptors Anne and Patrick Poirier in 2007.

It's part of a piece commissioned by Norwich City Council as an homage to doctor and author Thomas Browne, representing his reputation as a thinker.

But it might not be around for too much longer – there has been recent talk of removing the sculpture as part of plans to breathe new life into the city centre.

Justice, Bungay

The statue of Justice on top of Bungay Buttercross against the tower of St Mary's Church. Possible c

The statue of Justice on top of Bungay Buttercross against the tower of St Mary's Church. - Credit: Bill Smith

Justice has watched over the market place for more than 250 years since her installation in 1754.

Carrying a sword in her right hand and scales in the other, Justice would likely have been unpainted at first and was made in a London workshop.

Her presence in the town is a reminder for market traders to deal fairly with customers.

Public Sculpture, Norwich

The sculpture on the front of Prospect House.Picture: James BassFor: EDP NEWSEDP Pics © 200

The sculpture at the front of Prospect House. - Credit: James Bass

Created to front Eastern Counties Newspapers' new Norwich HQ at Prospect House in 1968, this particular sculpture has always been rather controversial.

The assembly of stone blocks and balls of dripping and dimpled metal is the largest work of celebrated Norwich talent Bernard Meadows.

Since restored, it remains outside Prospect House at the top of Rouen Road – where it has been sited ever since it was unveiled by Princess Alexandra in 1970.

Captain Mainwaring, Thetford

The Thetford Dad's Army Museum's Captain Mainwaring statue Picture: Denise Bradley

The Thetford Dad's Army Museum's Captain Mainwaring statue. - Credit: Denise Bradley

The life-sized bronze recreation of the famous Dad's Army character takes pride of place on a bench in Bridge Street.

Sat down wearing his home guard uniform, the sculpture was created by Ipswich artist Sean Hedges-Quinn and unveiled in 2010 in the town where many scenes for the TV show were filmed.

The captain cut a lonely figure last December when he was snapped during the floods which hit the town shortly after Christmas.

Ursula and Bertie, Holt Country Park

Mike Thody's wooden sculpture of a bear called Ursula at North Norfolk District Council’s (NNDC) awa

Mike Thody's wooden sculpture of a bear called Ursula at North Norfolk District Council’s (NNDC) award-winning Holt Country Park. - Credit: Mark Bullimore

A pregnant bear was carved from a fallen tree by Mike Thody, from Hempstead, and was unveiled in 2015.

It stands in the sensory garden at the country park, run by North Norfolk District Council, and was named by local school children.

Ursula was joined a year later by wooden baby bear Bertie, depicted reaching up to his mother.

How you can make your own monument

This story has been written in association with Inspiring Norfolk a new education project to celebrate living and learning in Norfolk.

On its website, there are loads of Norfolk-related videos and activities so schools can tailor the curriculum and teach people about the county.

One of them invites students to design their own monumental sculpture,

Norwich University of the Arts lecturer Desmond Brett says: "We're not expecting you to build something out of bronze, carve a big lump of marble or fabricate something that's 50-feet high.

"What you can do is make a maquette – a very small scale version of something.

"You might want to use Photoshop to place this maquette in a different location – for example, if you wanted to make a sculpture which sits on the top of Norwich Castle, or floating on the sea off the north Norfolk coast."

Any designed monumental maquettes can be emailed to: student.recruitment@nua.ac.uk.

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