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Dad's Army, royals or saints - Which is your favourite out of these 25 iconic statues?

PUBLISHED: 10:22 17 August 2019 | UPDATED: 10:26 17 August 2019

Thetford Dad's Army Museum's Captain Mainwaring statue. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Thetford Dad's Army Museum's Captain Mainwaring statue. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

©Archant Photographic 2011

There are an amazing range of statues across the region, Here are 25 of the most iconic - which is your favourite?

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey statue in St Nicholas Street. Picture: GREGG BROWNCardinal Thomas Wolsey statue in St Nicholas Street. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Captain Mainwaring, Thetford: There's no doubt that Thetford is one of East Anglia's top statue locations, with some very different celebrated personalities in pride of place.

With the enduring popularity of Dad's Army, the town's life-size bronze cast of actor Arthur Lowe as Captain Mainwaring has become a big tourist attraction since it was unveiled in 2010 with many fans of the show making the pilgrimage each year.

Britannia on top of the Nelson Monument, Great Yarmouth.
Photo: Andy DarnellBritannia on top of the Nelson Monument, Great Yarmouth. Photo: Andy Darnell

Gary Moore appeared in the classic series as a youngster, when he lived in Thetford. He said it is brilliant that the statue has been put up in the town, and he hopes to pay a visit soon. "I was in an episode, Knights of Madness, as the drum major of the sea cadets band. I was also a set of legs under the dragon costume, perhaps my best role!," Gary said. "I was 14, I think."

Tony Friel from Aylsham is another fan of the statue, saying: "It's a cracker!"

The Duleep Singh statue in Thetford. Picture: SONYA DUNCANThe Duleep Singh statue in Thetford. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Cardinal Wolsey, Ipswich: The bronze statue of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey in Ipswich town centre was unveiled in 2011, near to the spot where the town's most famous son is believed to have lived. Created by sculptor David Annand, the statue includes a very lifelike little cat peeping round from behind the powerful figure.

Alice Rhodes is a fan of the cat in particular. She said: "I love the statue of Wolsey and his cat in Ipswich - it is so important we recognise pet statues as well as human ones! There should definitely be more statues for animal heroes."

Amelia Opie statue, in Opie Street, Norwich. Photo: Talking StatuesAmelia Opie statue, in Opie Street, Norwich. Photo: Talking Statues

Nelson, Great Yarmouth and Norwich: The first column dedicated to Lord Nelson wasn't put up in London, but in Great Yarmouth, in his home county of Norfolk. Rather than showing Nelson himself, though, Nelson's Monument is a 144ft high Doric column supporting a huge statue of Britannia, Tours of the monument are occasionally available, and it's a 217-step climb to the top.

There is also a statue of Nelson in front of Norwich Cathedral's West Door, which shows him wearing a full-dress Vice Admiral's uniform, with a cannon and a telescope.

The Lord Nelson statue by Thomas Milnes in Upper Close at Norwich Cathedral. Picture : ANTONY KELLYThe Lord Nelson statue by Thomas Milnes in Upper Close at Norwich Cathedral. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Thomas Paine, Thetford: Thetford's most famous son, Thomas Paine, has been described as "the most influential writer in modern human history" and the father of the American revolution.

People come from as far as America to see his birthplace, and the statue put up in his memory.

The Edith Cavell memorial statue in Tombland. Picture : ANTONY KELLYThe Edith Cavell memorial statue in Tombland. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Paine was born in Thetford and in his youth worked in Diss making ladies' underwear, but he later became a key figure in both the French and American revolutions. In 2014, the town marked the 50th anniversary of the statue being put up. This year, actor Ian Ruskin played Paine in a one-man show which visited both Thetford and Diss.

Maharaja Duleep Singh, Thetford: Thetford is also home to a statue of Maharaja Duleep Singh, the last Sikh ruler of Punjab. He spent much of his life in Britain and purchased the Elveden Estate in 1863, where he lived for more than 20 years.

The Giles Grandma statue. Picture: ARCHANTThe Giles Grandma statue. Picture: ARCHANT

Claire Berridge chose the statue as her favourite on Twitter, and said: "It gets you thinking."

The statue, on Butten island in Thetford, was unveiled by Prince Charles in 1999. Thetford and Elveden have become significant places for Sikh pilgrimages, and a Festival of Norfolk & Punjab has just been held in the area.

The Boudicca statue near North Station, Colchester. Picture: ARCHANTThe Boudicca statue near North Station, Colchester. Picture: ARCHANT

St Edmund, Bury St Edmunds: The saint and martyr was a Saxon king of East Anglia, who met his end beneath a shower of arrows, defending his people and his faith from marauding Danes. A statue at St Edmundsbury Cathedral shows him holding a cross.

On Twitter, Anne Dunford chose the striking statue in Bury St Edmunds as a personal favourite.

The official unveiling of the life-size bronze statue of King John in King's Lynn town centre. Performing his poem 'Bad Ass King John' is historical author Gareth Calway. Picture: Ian BurtThe official unveiling of the life-size bronze statue of King John in King's Lynn town centre. Performing his poem 'Bad Ass King John' is historical author Gareth Calway. Picture: Ian Burt

Wolf, Hunstanton: Another landmark connected with St Edmund is the life-sized wooden wolf sculpture which has guarded the Chapel ruins at Old Hunstanton for the past decade. It is said that a wolf protected the saint's head after he was beheaded by his captors, and stopped it being harmed so that he could be given a proper burial.

Norfolk artist Jean Mulligan created a 4ft carved wooden wolf, but it has now been taken away for repairs, and is being restored by retired builder Mick Smith and helpers at the town's Heritage Centre. It is hoped it will be back in place by the end of August.

The stretcher bearer statue outside Chavasse VC House Help for Heroes Recovery Centre in Colchester is based on a real image. Picture: HELP FOR HEROESThe stretcher bearer statue outside Chavasse VC House Help for Heroes Recovery Centre in Colchester is based on a real image. Picture: HELP FOR HEROES

Help for Heroes, Colchester: Not all statues are of famous individuals. The stretcher bearer statue outside the Chavasse VC Help for Heroes Recovery Centre in Colchester shows a wounded soldier giving a thumbs-up. Comms officer Ann Scott said: "It's based on a real image and the centre itself is named after Captain Noel Chavasse. His history is fascinating and we're continuing his legacy by supporting veterans."

Edith Cavell, Norwich: This poignant memorial to the famous nurse, in the city's Tombland, was funded by public subscription and unveiled by Queen Alexandra in 1918. It is not a full-size statue of Edith Cavell, but a bust of her, in nurse's uniform, with a relief of a soldier hanging up a laurel wreath.

Lee Richardson's son Alfie as a baby with the Sir Alf Ramsey statue, and a few years later with the Sir Bobby Robson one. Picture: LEE RICHARDSONLee Richardson's son Alfie as a baby with the Sir Alf Ramsey statue, and a few years later with the Sir Bobby Robson one. Picture: LEE RICHARDSON

The First World War heroine was born in Swardeston, near Norwich, and was working in Brussels when the war broke out. She helped around 200 soldiers to escape from Belgium before she was captured and executed.

Giles and "Grandma", Ipswich: Ian Day said on Twitter: "I've always loved the Giles statue in Ipswich. Where else has got a cartoon statue?"

Stephen Bailey'’s son Robson at two weeks old with the Sir Bobby Robson statue. Picture: STEPHEN BAILEYStephen Bailey'’s son Robson at two weeks old with the Sir Bobby Robson statue. Picture: STEPHEN BAILEY

The "Grandma" statue, showing cartoonist Carl Giles's beloved characters, has become one of Ipswich's best-loved landmarks since it was unveiled in 1993 by actor Warren Mitchell, before being moved to its current home on Giles Circus in 2010. It stands opposite the studio where Giles used to work.

Prince Alexander Obolensky, Ipswich: This unusual and eye-catching statue celebrates the life of a Russian-born prince who became an England rugby legend and a war hero. Prince Alexander Obolensky, who is buried in Ipswich's war cemetery, became a national hero after he scored two tries for England in a vital match against New Zealand in 1936. He died during the Second World War when his plane crashed on take-off at RAF Martlesham Heath in 1940.

Rretired builder Mick Smith is restoring the Hunstanton wolf in his garage. Picture: Chris BishopRretired builder Mick Smith is restoring the Hunstanton wolf in his garage. Picture: Chris Bishop

The statue, showing him in an athletic pose, is close to Cromwell Square. Chris Haslop said via Twitter: "This statue is amazing, quite simple, but makes me stop every time I see it." Chris is also a fan of the fly-swatting mini-statue on top of the public toilets in St Margaret's Street, describing it as "really fun".

Henry Styleman le Strange, Hunstanton: The resort's founding father has been celebrated by one of East Anglia's newer statues, which was put up in 2017. The Victorian nobleman dreamed of creating a seaside resort to rival the likes of Brighton and Southend, and in the 1840s he persuaded investors to back his idea by funding a railway line to bring visitors to the coast.

Nominated for a statue -  Manette Baillie who was crowned Miss Benhall at 97, with attendants Trulie Rogers and Grace Southgate. Picture: DAVID BURNSNominated for a statue - Manette Baillie who was crowned Miss Benhall at 97, with attendants Trulie Rogers and Grace Southgate. Picture: DAVID BURNS

His statue, designed by artist Alan Beattie Herriot, stands on the Green. At its unveiling, Gareth Calway performed a ballad written specially, and described Le Strange as "one of the great Victorian creators". Not everyone is a fan, though - a Twitter user, @turtledovenorfolk, said it was their "unfavourite statue", adding: "It fails as a tourist attraction as visitors can't take photos with it."

Boudicca, Colchester: The Queen of the Iceni, who led a revolt against Roman Colchester, is celebrated by not one but two statues in Colchester. The iconic 5.2 metre cast aluminium monument in the centre of the North Station roundabout, created by Jonathan Clarke in 1999, is among the landmarks granted a local listed status by the borough council. There is also a statue of Boudicca on the wall of Colchester Town Hall.

The Gainsborough statue in Sudbury. Picture: ARCHANTThe Gainsborough statue in Sudbury. Picture: ARCHANT

Amelia Opie, Norwich: Amelia Opie was an author, poet and radical thinker who who was born and grew up in Norwich, and published many books during the early 19th century. She was also a prominent Quaker and abolitionist.

A statue of her in Quaker dress was put up in Opie Street in the 1950s, and is one of East Anglia's statues celebrating remarkable women from the region.

The official unveiling of the Henry Styleman le Strange statue in Hunstanton. Pictured are (from left) Hunstanton town deputy mayor Adrian Winnington, borough mayor Carol Bower and Michael Meaking. Picture: Ian BurtThe official unveiling of the Henry Styleman le Strange statue in Hunstanton. Pictured are (from left) Hunstanton town deputy mayor Adrian Winnington, borough mayor Carol Bower and Michael Meaking. Picture: Ian Burt

Thomas Gainsborough, Sudbury: This statue to the great landscape and portrait artist, who was born in Sudbury, is one of the most prominent landmarks in the town centre. It was first unveiled in 1913 by Princess Louise, daughter of Queen Victoria, but had a second unveiling in 2013, a century on, with a host of high-profile guests in costume for the occasion.

Jerry Brett said: "Grew up with Gainsborough. One of the enduring images of Sudbury over the years."

A ceremony to celebrate the return of the Drummer Boy statue on Market Hill in Woodbridge. Photo: Tom PotterA ceremony to celebrate the return of the Drummer Boy statue on Market Hill in Woodbridge. Photo: Tom Potter

Julian of Norwich: We may not know the real name of this medieval mystic, but there is now a statue in her memory at Norwich Cathedral. Julian of Norwich, also known as Mother Julian, was the author of the first published book attributed to a woman in English, Revelations of Divine Love, and pilgrims travel from around the world to visit the church where she was based, St Julian's in Rouen Road, Norwich. They now also visit the statue, created by the late David Holgate, who also created the cathedral's statue of Saint Benedict.

Queen Victoria, Dovercourt: Statues of Queen Victoria were erected around the region to mark her 60th anniversary. Some were later taken down, but others are still there, including this imposing statue on Marine Parade, which is one of the most famous local landmarks.

A statue of her husband Prince Albert stands outside Framlingham College in Suffolk - or, to give the private school its full original name, the Albert Memorial College.

King John, King's Lynn: A life-size statue of King John was unveiled in the town centre in 2016, cast in bronze and made by Scottish sculptor Alan Beattie Herriot, who also made the le Strange statue in Hunstanton. Legend has it that on October 12, 1216 King John lost the crown jewels in the Wash, and the statue was unveiled 800 years later, to the day.

Then mayor David Whitby said when he unveiled it: "It's a work of art that visitors will talk about for years to come. Many people will know John as the villain from the Robin Hood stories, but he had many supporters in Lynn. Granting the town a charter led to it becoming a thriving town and port."

Drummer Boy, Woodbridge: There has been quite a saga surrounding this statue, known as Woodbridge's mascot, over the last few years. Known formally as the Drums of the Fore and Aft, and inspired by Kipling's story of a disastrous battle of the second Anglo-Afghan War, the statue was missing from the scenery since its removal from the old district council building in Melton Hill in 2017.

It was restored and then unveiled at a new location in Market Hill last year, opposite the Bull Hotel.

Justice, Bungay: This statue was installed in 1754, and has stood overlooking Bungay for more than 250 years. It has been said that her presence in the town's market place was a reminder that market traders should deal fairly with their customers, and also that suspected criminals imprisoned in the dungeon under the Butter Cross, or exposed to public ridicule in the stocks, should be justly treated.

The statue is unusual in that it is believed to be one of only two in the country that does not have a blindfold - the other is at London's Old Bailey.

Captain George Vancouver, King's Lynn: This bronze statue was unveiled in 2000 by the Duke of Edinburgh at Purfleet Quay. It shows the navigator and explorer, who was born in Lynn, holding a telescope and scroll, and he stands on a plinth of stone from the Pacific West Coast of Canada. He sailed with Captain Cook and mapped the north-west seaboard of North America

Sir Thomas Browne, Norwich: On Norwich Haymarket, this statue celebrates the 17th-century author, who settled in Norwich to practice medicine. Tony Wells said: "I remember this statue in Haymarket Norwich becoming part of an art installation about 20 years ago.

"They built a shed around it and decorated it like a living room carpet wallpaper etc. You climbed steps and stood on a level with him in the living room."

Statues in Norwich tell their own stories

Norwich has a number of fascinating statues - and at present you can not only see some of them, but also hear them talking, thanks to the Talking Statues Norwich project.

Ten statues around the city have been given the ability to talk, with Stephen Fry and Olivia Colman among the line-up of writers and actors giving voices to the statues. Creative Nation has brought the project to Norwich, with the help of partner organisations across Norwich. You can use your phone to scan the QR code and the statue calls you.

Statues included in this project include: Lord Nelson, Amelia Opie, Julian of Norwich, Peace, The City Hall Lions, Thomas Browne, Peter the Wild Boy, Will Kempe, Snap the Dragon and the "missing statue" above the north porch of the Church of St John, Maddermarket. For more details, visit the website.

Ipswich Town set for a trio of statues

Ipswich Town already has two statues of Blues legends, managers Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson - and will soon have a third, as fundraising for a statue in memory of much-loved player Kevin Beattie is nearing its target.

Lifelong supporter Lee Richardson said: "The obvious choice for favourite statues are Sir Alf and Sir Bobby". He sent in a photo of his eldest son, Alfie, as a baby with his famous namesake, Sir Alf.

"Alfie is six now and a keen footballer and Junior Blues member!" he said.

Stephen Bailey also called his son after a Town legend - and young Robson is now nearly two. Stephen took his photo beside the Sir Bobby statue when he was just two weeks old.

Who deserves a statue?

Who would you like to see honoured with a statue? Readers have been coming up with suggestions.

BBC Radio Suffolk's Stephen Foster said: "I really think there should be a statue of John Peel on the village green in Great Finborough. He lived there for a large part of his life and is buried there."

Robert Chaplin suggested: "Norwich is very short of these realistic life-sized statues. I propose we find funding for one of Black Anna, the well-remembered landlady of the Jolly Butchers pub (long sinced closed}"

"Black Anna" was the nickname of Antoinette Carrara, who was born in Norwich of Italian descent and was known for her jazz singing as well as running the pub.

And organisers of the Benhall Show in Suffolk had an unusual suggestion, saying: "We'd love a statue of our 97-year-old Benhall villager, Manette Baillie who was crowned Miss Benhall at our annual village show on Saturday. Her philosophy is to remain optimistic!"

- Did we miss out your favourite statue, or is there someone you would like to see honoured? Send us an email.

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