For almost 350 years, he stood guard outside one of Norwich’s most prestigious buildings..
Installed outside the house of Christopher Jay, Mayor of Norwich in 1657, the carved wooden atlantid (a male figure that functions as a supporting column statue) Samson could little suspect that he would witness two World Wars, a fire and the antics of generations of party revellers when the building was used as a ballroom and then nightclub between the 1930s and 1990s.
Time, however took its toll on Samson. Eventually encasing him in layers of thick white paint an obscuring the intricate original carvings underneath.
In 1993 Samson was retired and removed from the building for safe-keeping, and in 2014 he was sent to Plowden & Smith for extensive conservation work.
Fast forward to February 2018…
With Samson ready to return home, the Museum of Norwich at Bridewell has launched ‘Saving Samson’, a six-week campaign to raise £15,000 for a new permanent display.
To coincide with this, we will be sharing our memories of Samson from across the three years he has been with us, as well as exciting news and updates.