TG2308 : 'Wild Peter' bollard finial

taken 2 years ago, near to Norwich, Norfolk, Great Britain

'Wild Peter' bollard finial
'Wild Peter' bollard finial
'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 > 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 > Link in the immediate vicinity of the bridewell where Peter had been incarcerated and which has since become a museum. See also > Link
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TG2308, 5852 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Friday, 21 September, 2018   (more nearby)
Friday, 21 September, 2018
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  City, Town centre 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TG 2309 0869 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:37.8053N 1:17.7041E
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TG 2309 0869
View Direction
EAST (about 90 degrees)
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