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WAYSIDE ART IN EAST ANGLIA

SYMBOLS

The cross, which has taken many forms, is the most common symbol of Christianity.  Yet it is not as commonly used in East Anglia as a public symbol that you might see as you travel around as you might expect.  Here are a few examples of some that are around.

The sign at Mildenhall in Suffolk depicts a shield with a large red cross in the centre.

This cross (above) is on the nineteenth-century font in Needham Market Church in Suffolk.

The village sign at Stoke Holy Cross in Norfolk depicts a stone-built fort with a gilt cross on the front.  The rest of the sign is made of wrought iron, and the name of the village is painted on three metal plates.  It was designed by Mr. Morris and was made by Hubbard Brothers of Norwich.

This blue shield on the village sign at Hunston in Suffolk has a large yellow cross and five birds.  It is the coat of arms of Edward the Confessor and King Edmund.  It has been said that it is the first ever coat of arms in history.  The sign was designed and made by Mr. F. Inge and painted by Susan Lyn.

THE CROSS

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CROSSED KEYS

Above is a picture of floor tiles in Reepham Church in Norfolk, depicting a cross with a ladder, which symbolises the cross of Jesus.  However, the ladder may originally have been a pagan symbol that was adapted to Christian usage.  Some ancient societies believed that heaven is reached by a ladder.  The ancient Egyptians were often buried with model ladders.

Left: The cross carved in a spandrel at Sudbourne Church in Suffolk.  Here, as at Reepham (above), it is depicted with other symbols, which represent what are known as the instruments of Christ’s Passion, which include a ladder, nails, a spear and a hammer.