Bollards in the Norwich Lanes area

Text © Copyright Evelyn Simak, September 2018
Images are under a separate Creative Commons Licence.


TG2308 : 'Wild Peter' bollard finial by Evelyn Simak


Apart from its galleries, cafés, restaurants and shops, the Lanes area in Norwich's city centre offers another attraction to all those interested in the city's history: the sculptor Oliver Creed was commissioned by Norwich City Council to create 11 site-specific designs for finials placed on top of distinct steel bollards, all painted madder red in order to give this area of the city a visual identity and to promote it as an autonomous precinct within the city, comprised of its most attractive lanes and streets.

The finials represent the name of the street they are placed on or a part of the area's history. Besides 12 identical madder plant designs, there are 11 location-specific finials. The latter can be seen on Upper St Giles Street (a gargoyle), Upper Goat Lane (a goat's head), St John Maddermarket (St John the Baptist surrounded by sheep), Lobster Lane (a lobster), Dove Street (a pair of doves in their nest), Swan Lane (a swan's head), London Street (a ram's head), St Benedicts Street (a violin-playing cherub), St Gregory's Green (a griffin's head), St Andrews Street (a Green Man), and Bridewell Alley (Wild Peter).


TG2208 : Madder bollard finial in St Swithin's Alley (detail) by Evelyn Simak
See > LinkExternal link for a wider view of this location. This bollard finial is one of 12 representing a madder plant and was especially designed by Oliver Creed in 2007. The bollard is made from tubular steel covered in biodegradeable polymer and painted madder-red after the plant used locally by dyers working in this area in the 17th century. See also > LinkExternal link
by Evelyn Simak



TG2308 : Green Man bollard finial by Evelyn Simak
This bollard finial was especially designed by Oliver Creed in 2007. The bollard is made from tubular steel covered in biodegradeable polymer and painted madder-red after the plant used locally by dyers working in this area in the 17th century, and can be seen on St Andrews Street. See also > LinkExternal link
by Evelyn Simak



TG2208 : Griffin bollard finial on St Gregory's Green by Evelyn Simak
The bollard finial was especially designed by Oliver Creed in 2007. The bollard is made from tubular steel covered in biodegradeable polymer and painted madder-red after the plant used locally by dyers working in this area. The finial was inspired by the depiction of a griffin in St Gregory's church beside which it can be seen, on St Gregory's Green > LinkExternal link. See also > LinkExternal link
by Evelyn Simak



TG2208 : Cherub bollard finial by St Benedicts Gate by Evelyn Simak
This bollard finial was especially designed by Oliver Creed in 2007. The bollard is made from tubular steel covered in biodegradeable polymer and painted madder-red after the plant used locally by dyers working in this area in the 17th century. It is situated at the western end of St Benedicts Street > LinkExternal link near the site of St Benedicts Gate which in medieval time was also referred to as the Gate of Heaven, hence the cherub motif. See also > LinkExternal link
by Evelyn Simak



TG2208 : Dove bollard finial by Evelyn Simak
This bollard finial was especially designed by Oliver Creed in 2007. The bollard is made from tubular steel covered in biodegradeable polymer and painted madder-red after the plant used locally by dyers working in this area in the 17th century. This bollard can be seen at the southern end of Dove Street. For a wider view of this location see > LinkExternal link. See also > LinkExternal link
by Evelyn Simak



TG2208 : St John the Baptist bollard finial by Evelyn Simak
This bollard finial was especially designed by Oliver Creed in 2007. The bollard is made from tubular steel covered in biodegradeable polymer and painted madder-red after the plant used locally by dyers working in this area in the 17th century. It can be seen at the northern end of St John Maddermarket by the junction with St Andrews Street > LinkExternal link and it depicts St John the Baptist surrounded by sheep which are commonly associated with this saint, whose church is situated near here. See also > LinkExternal link
by Evelyn Simak



TG2308 : Swan bollard finial by Evelyn Simak
This bollard finial was especially designed by Oliver Creed in 2007. The bollard is made from tubular steel covered in biodegradeable polymer and painted madder-red after the plant used locally by dyers working in this area in the 17th century. For a wider view of this location see > LinkExternal link. See also > LinkExternal link
by Evelyn Simak



TG2208 : Gargoyle bollard finial in St Giles Street by Evelyn Simak
This bollard finial representing a gargoyle was especially designed by Oliver Creed in 2007. It is made from tubular steel covered in biodegradeable polymer and painted madder-red after the plant used locally by dyers working in this area in the 17th century. For a wider view of this location see > LinkExternal link. See also > LinkExternal link
by Evelyn Simak



TG2208 : Goat head finial in Upper Goat Lane by Evelyn Simak
This bollard with a goat head finial, one of 11 different designs to be seen in the Norwich Lanes, was especially designed by Oliver Creed in 2007. It is made from tubular steel covered in biodegradeable polymer and painted madder-red after the plant used locally by dyers working in this area in the 17th century. For a wider view of this location see > LinkExternal link. See also > LinkExternal link
by Evelyn Simak



TG2208 : Lobster bollard finial by Evelyn Simak
For a wider view of this location and some information see > LinkExternal link. See also > LinkExternal link
by Evelyn Simak



TG2308 : Ram bollard finial by Evelyn Simak
This bollard finial was especially designed by Oliver Creed in 2007. The bollard is made from tubular steel covered in biodegradeable polymer and painted madder-red after the plant used locally by dyers working in this area in the 17th century. It can be seen by the junction of Bedford and London streets, in front of the National Westminster Bank > LinkExternal link. The ram's head is a reminder of the horn working trade which once used to be based in London Street. See also > LinkExternal link
by Evelyn Simak



TG2308 : 'Wild Peter' bollard finial by Evelyn Simak
'Wild Peter' first came to public attention when found stark naked in a forest near the German town of Hamelin near Hanover, aged about 14. Believed to have been abandoned by his parents, Peter preferred to crawl on all fours rather than walking upright, did not appear to understand human speech and could utter only squeaks and grunts. In 1721, King George I became interested in the boy and arranged for him to be brought to Herrenhausen castle, and later to be taken to St James Palace in London, where he was exhibited as an exotic curiosity. In 1726, the boy was baptised and given the name Peter.

After the king's demise in 1727, Peter was cared for by a number of people and in 1751 he finally disappeared from the farm he had been staying at the time. Meanwhile, in Norwich a man assumed to be homeless and who would not or could not speak, was arrested and taken to the Bridwell house of correction. Soon all the inmates were however released due to a fire that had broken out in the immediate vicinity, but Peter refused to leave and had to be taken away by force, and was subsequently accommodated briefly in the city's workhouse, before being sent back to Germany. There he was fitted with an iron collar bearing his name and address so as to ensure identification.

When King George III showed interest in Peter, who by then was an adult man, he was brought back to England, and this time he remained in the country for good. He died at Broadway Farm in Hertfordshire, where he had been living for many years, aged about 73, and is buried at St Mary Northchurch > LinkExternal link. Experts today think that he may have been suffering from a rare genetic condition known as Pitts-Hopkins Syndrome.

The bollard finial was especially designed by Oliver Creed in 2007. The bollard is made from tubular steel covered in biodegradeable polymer and painted madder-red after the plant used locally by dyers working in this area in the 17th century. It can be seen at the western end of an unnamed path linking St Andrews Hill and Bridewell Alley > LinkExternal link in the immediate vicinity of the bridewell where Peter had been incarcerated and which has since become a museum. See also > LinkExternal link
by Evelyn Simak




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