New £10,000 village sign unveiled to 'excite and endure'

At the Wroxham village sign opening ceremony

At the Wroxham village sign opening ceremony were, from left, Malcolm Allsop, Chair of Wroxham Parish Council, Rev Liz Jump Rector of the Wroxham Benefice, Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, Lady Philippa Dannatt and Nick Hindle, the master stonemason who created the sign. - Credit: Supplied by Elaine Allsop

The picturesque Broads village of Wroxham has a new focal point - a stunning 7ft high village sign. 

The solid granite monolith topped with a Norfolk wherry was unveiled at a ceremony by Norfolk's Lord Lieutenant, Lady Philippa Dannatt, who called it "a most extraordinary and quite exceptional piece of art, which I know will both excite and endure".

The new village sign at Wroxham.

The new village sign at Wroxham. - Credit: Supplied by Elaine Allsop

The sign is emblazoned with water and reed symbols and an inscription proclaims Wroxham's ancient title as the 'Capital of the Norfolk Broads'.

Lady Dannatt told a group of 25 guests at the unveiling: "Few, if any of our superlative Norfolk villages deserve it more than you. Many, many congratulations and thank you so much for all the glory you heap on this county of ours. Norfolk is profoundly grateful."

The sign - at junction of Norwich Road and the northern end of The Avenue - was sculpted by Nick Hindle, who is based in the village.

The new village sign at Wroxham.

The new village sign at Wroxham. - Credit: Supplied by Elaine Allsop

Mr Hindle said that the green granite used for the column was formed in rocks in India more than 300 million years ago. He had it imported into this country last year and has been working on it since.

Parish council chairman Malcolm Allsop said part of the idea of the sign was to give Wroxham a stronger sense of identity.

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The village, on the southern bank of the River Bure, is often confused with its larger, more bustling neighbour Hoveton on the north bank, where most shops and visitor attractions are located. 

The sign cost is just over £10,000, paid for out of a community infrastructure levy granted for the construction of the Wherry Gardens housing estate several years ago. 

Stone mason Nick Hindle with the granite wherry sculpture which will top the new village sign for Wroham in the Norfolk...

Stone mason Nick Hindle with the granite wherry sculpture while he was working on the sign.  - Credit: Malcolm Allsop

Jerome Mayhew, Broadland MP, said the sign was "a thrilling and unique installation that, like the granite it is made from, will grace this special Broadland village for many thousands of years to come".

Norfolk has more village signs than anywhere else in the country. The tradition is believed to have started when King Edward VII was staying at the Sandringham Estate and suggested they would help travellers find their way around.

A plaque on the new village sign at Wroxham.

A plaque on the new village sign at Wroxham. - Credit: Supplied by Elaine Allsop

Wroxham on lockdown during corona virus pandemic. The Broads would normally be heaving during Eatsre

Wroxham already has two small, wrought-iron village signs that were installed in the 1930s. It is hoped the new, larger sign will provide a focal point for the village. - Credit: Brittany Woodman


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