Record Details

NHER Number:5901
Type of record:Monument
Name:Medieval terracotta bust


In 1951 a terracotta bust of a man was dredged from the Little Ouse. It was hollow, poorly fired and showed signs of slip on the weathered surface. The bust was felt to date to the late 15th or early 16th century but the identity of the bust could only be speculated on.

Images - none



Full description

1951. Pottery (Terracotta) bust of man dredged from Little Ouse.
Base hollow-finished of squarely as though meant to stand. Interior unevenly fired, clay ill mixed with occasional flints. Surface somewhat weathered. Originally covered half slip (survives beneath chin) 25cm (10.5in) high.
Held by Thetford Museum.
?From niche in wall in building. ?Grammar School or Domus Dei. See (S1).
Photographs by Coe 33629/1 and 2.

Certainly late medieval late 15th - early 16th century. Naturalism of head even more individualised than anything found in 14th century. As it is a monk it is not likely to be later than the Dissolution.
Identification by P. Lasko (British Museum)

P. Millican says; 1590-1620 ?figure from tomb or lintel of door of house. Dressed in coif of Justice of Common Pleas. Possibly Sir Thos. Gawdy who was Justice of CP in Thetford - Harling district.
R. R. Clarke suggests Sir Henry Hobart.
Member of the public [1] says second half of 15th century.
R. R. Clarke (NCM).

Monument Types

  • STATUE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • FIGURINE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Thetford.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. [unknown]. [unknown]. [unknown].

Related records - none

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