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WAYSIDE ART IN EAST ANGLIA

PEOPLE

NOBLES AND KNIGHTS

This village sign at Griston in Norfolk was made by Henry Carter. It was unveiled in 1973 by Lord Walsingham, a descendant of Robert de Grey of Griston Hall.  Rumour has it that it was Robert de Grey who contrived the murder of two children in order to obtain their inheritance.  They were his nephew and niece and were put into his care by their dying father, Arthur Truelove.  The sign depicts the two children as youngsters rather than babies. They are dressed in Elizabethan costume and their uncle has a sword in his hand.  Apparently the children were to have been murdered by two hired men, but the men failed to do the deed and left the children in a local wood to suffer their own fate.  Unfortunately they starved to death.  It is thought that this alleged event is the origin of the story of the Babes in the Wood, the wood being Wayland Wood near Griston.

This is the village sign at Old Hunstanton in Norfolk.  It depicts Hunstanton Hall that used to belong to the l’Estrange family, and Roger l’Estrange on his horse.  It was he who built the Hall and he’s holding a long spear.  The head of the l’Estrange family held the hereditary title of Lord High Admiral of the Wash which gave him the right to claim possession of anything out to sea for as far as a man on a horse could throw a spear.  In the right-hand spandrel of the sign below the main picture is the coat of arms of the l’Estrange family.  The sign was made by Harry Carter of Swaffham and was presented by the Old Hunstanton Women’s Institute who erected it to commemorate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Year.

The main figure on this sign at Great Massingham in Norfolk pictured below) is Sir Robert Walpole of Houghton Hall.  He is included here because he attended a school in the village.

This alabaster beauty represents Lady Joan de Thorpe who died in 1414.  She is lying on her tomb in Ashwellthorpe Church in Norfolk.  Her husband, Edmund de Thorpe, lies next to her.  He died in 1417.  The tomb is one of only two pre-Reformation alabaster tombs remaining in Norfolk.  The other is at East Harlilng.  

This sign at Aylsham in Norfolk depicts John of Gaunt on his horse.  He has earned his position here by the fact that he owned the manor at Aylsham, which was given to him by his father, King Edward III.  He also founded the local church.  Note his coat of arms displayed on top of the sign.

The village sign at Fransham in Norfolk depicts a knight in full armour.  The name Galfridus is written at his feet and the date is 1414 AD.  There is a brass effigy of Galfridus de Fransham inside Great Fransham Church.

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Above: This early medieval-looking warrior with his oval shield, sword and helmet is built of brick.  He stands in the yard of Ridgeons timber and builders merchants in Rocklands, Norfolk.

The tomb on the left is that of Sir John Cornwallis and his wife Mary (nee Sulyard).  It is near the altar in Brome Church in Suffolk.  John was knighted for bravery at Morlaux in Bretagne and he became Steward of the Royal Household.  Ling Hall, which is situated near the church, is probably where he lived.