St George Colegate, Norwich
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: The 16th century terra-cotta Jannys tomb chest
You enter by way of a south porch, but before passing through the porch look up at the spandrels on either side of the opening. One side is carved with a likeness of St George being armed by angles, the other with a depiction of the Annunciation.
Robert Jannys Memorial
One of the most enjoyable features of St George's is the large number of historic memorials. By far the most interesting of these is the terra-cotta tomb chest of Robery Jannys in the north chapel. This is the only terra-cotta memorial in the city. Though worn, the carving on this memorial is of the highest quality, probably carved by the same artisan who created the extraordinary Bedingfield memorials at Oxburgh. The base of the chest is divided into three panels separated by pilasters. Among the designs are Jannys's merchant's mark and the arms of the Grocer's company.
Another interesting memorial is to another Norwich mayor, Philip Meadows (d. 1772), and there is an earlier wall monument to Thomas Pindar (d. 1722) with a reclining cherub holding a goblet balanced on one knee.
A final memorial worth mentioning is a fairly plain plaque to landscape pinter John Crome (1768- 1821) in the south aisle. Crome was a founder of the 'Norwich School' of artists. He was born in St George Tombland parish nearby, and apprenticed to a sign-painter. In 1798 he was hired as a drawing master for the Gurney family of Earlham Hall, where one of his pupils was Elizabeth Gurney, later to become famous as prison reformer Elizabeth Fry.
Crome helped found the Norwich School in 1803, to promote the work of local artists, primarily landscape painters. He died in 1821 (in debt to Gurney's Bank to the tune of £145), but the memorial was not erected until 1868. It was designed by Suffolk sculptor John Bell, and is embellished with an artist's pallet and brushes. Crome's bust is set beneath a laurel wreath, a symbol often used to commemorate literary and artistic notables.
The church has very limited opening hours. When we visited that was daily between noon and 2pm. Its worth visiting, though; the number and quality of the memorials are impressive, especially the Jannys tomb, which, though quite worn, is really very impressive. Its a pity terra-cotta doesn't wear better!
About St George Colegate
Address: Colegate, Norwich, Norfolk, England, NR3 1DD
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: On Colegate, 10 minutes walk west of the Cathedral, and 2 blocks east of Duke Street.
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
The Octagon Chapel - 0.1 miles (Historic Church)
The Old Meeting House - 0.1 miles (Historic Church)
The Halls - 0.2 miles (Historic Church)
Strangers Hall - 0.2 miles (Museum)
Norwich, St John Maddermarket Church - 0.2 miles (Historic Church)
Armada House - 0.2 miles (Historic Building)
Bridewell Museum - 0.2 miles (Museum)
Hungate Medieval Art - 0.2 miles (Museum)
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