This pillar,one of a pair, sits above Norwich Market in front of City Hall. Egyptian-style
bas-reliefs adorn its surface.
The village sign at Quidenham n Norfolk depicts Boudicca who was queen of the Iceni
Celts. She is riding her two-horse chariot. When the Romans assaulted Boudicca
and her family, she took her revenge by slaughtering the Romans at Colchester, St.
Albans and London. She was chosen as a subject for the sign because a rumour persists
that she lived nearby and was buried in a mound not far from Quidenham Church. The
sign was designed by Mrs. MacNamara and is made of painted metal.
Here we have a Roman centaurian carved in oak and painted on a village sign at Anmer
in Norfolk. A local tradition says that the Romans fought Queen Boudicca in the
vicinity of the village. Anmer is on the Sandringham royal estate and the sign was
a gift to the Queen from the Royal Boy Scout’s Association. On top of the sign is
the royal coat of arms. The sign was painted by Harry Carter of Swaffham. He taught
art and woodwork at Hamond’s Grammar School in Swaffham and he was the nephew of
the Eygptologist, Howard Carter, famous for his association with Tutankhamen’s tomb.
When mercenaries from northern Europe came to England after the Romans had left to
help the Romano-British defend England against attacking invaders such as the Picts,
many of their relatives and descendants settled in East Anglia. Among these settlers
were Angles and Saxons, known collectively as Anglo-Saxons. A great number of our
villages where they settled are named after them. Saxlingham is one of them. Another
example is Framlingham, which is named after a Saxon called Framela, ‘Ing’ referring
to his family, and ‘ham’ referring to his place of residence. So Framlingham means
‘The home of the family of Framela’.
The village sign at Saxlingham in Norfolk is made of natural oak. On it is carved
the full-length figure of a Saxon who founded the village in 832 AD. His name was
either Seaxel, Seaxhelm or something similar. The sign was a gift from Mrs Campbell
Steward who lived at the Old Hall in the village from 1914. The carving was done
by a sculptor who carved his initials and date on the back, which reads ‘D.J.D. 1968.’
The village sign at Somerleyton in Suffolk shows a Viking in fighting mode with his
boat behind. The Vikings from Norway arrived in the area in the ninth century, having
sailed up the River Waveney. The sign was designed by Mrs Steward of Lowestoft and
was made by S.C. Pearce and Sons of Bredfield. It was erected in 1949 by Lord and
Lady Somerleyton to mark their Silver Wedding Anniversary.
This is the head of a Saracen. It is carved on the outside of the seventeenth-century
Saracen’s Head Hotel in Diss, Norfolk. A Saracen was an Arab or Muslim at the time
of the Crusades.
The village sign at Necton in Norfolk depicts a Saxon warrior. The name of the village
is Saxon in origin and means ‘a homestead by a neck of land.’
The Normans arrived in England towards the end of the eleventh century. When their
leader, William, defeated King Harold at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 he became
King. The story of the events leading to the Norman conquest is told in the famous
Bayeux Tapestry. This very long embroidery (tapestry is a misnomen) has inspired
a recent mosaic that has been laid on the ground at the Riverside development in
Norwich. It is situated near the footbridge that crosses the River Wensusm. The
subject matter of the mosaic is the legacy that the Normans left behind in Norwich
by their stone building programme. As the words above the mosaic tell us ‘The Normans
sailed up the Wensum with stone to build Norwich Castle and Cathedral’. For pictures
of the mosaic and more information go to http://www.thejoyofshards.co.uk/mosaicsorguk/norwich/norma n.shtml
A stone replica of a Roman coin on the wall of a road underpass in Colchester in
This stone carving represents Eudo, a Norman, who was a steward of king William I.
He was involved in setting up monastic orders and apparently was responsible for
the building of Colchester Castle. He stands in a niche on the front facade of Colchester
Town Hall with helmet, shield and sword. The sword points downward as a sign, not
of battle, but of Christianity. The building to which he’s attached was built in
1898, was designed by Sir John Belcher, and is Grade I listed.
Recent archeological evidence in reference to Quidenham suggests that a location
known as ‘Viking’s Mound’ is not that of an iron age burial, but the remains of what
was once a Norman motte and bailey castle, probably built by the d’Albini family.