Manual Ref* NFnrNOR235 Show 3 images 1109

Carved effigy, St Felix (?)

County Norfolk   District Council Norwich City Council 
Civil Parish or equivalent Norwich  Town/Village* Norwich - Cathedral Close 
Road Cathedral Close 
Precise Location Southern ambulatory 
OS Grid Ref TG235089  Postcode NR1 
Previous location(s) Niche above doorway of north transept; removed and replaced by fibre glass replica 1967 
Setting In building  Access Public 
Artist/Maker Role Qualifier
Not known  Sculptor(s)   

Commissioned by

Bishop Herbert de Losinga (Bishop 1091-1119) 

Design & Constrn period

Between 1096 and 1119 

Date of installing


Exact date of unveiling



Abstract Animal Architectural
Commercial Commemorative Composite
Free Functional Funerary
Heraldic Military Natural
Non-Commemorative Performance Portable
Religious Roadside, Wayside Sculptural
Temporary, Mobile Other  

Object Type

Building Clock Tower Architectural
Coat of Arms Cross Fountain
Landscape Marker Medallion
Mural Panel Readymade
Relief Shaft Sculpture
Statue Street Furniture War Memorial
Other Object Sub Type: Effigy

Subject Type

Allegorical Mythological Pictorial
Figurative Non-figurative Portrait
Still-life Symbolic Other

Subject Sub Type

Bust Equestrian Full-length
Group Head Reclining
Seated Standing Torso
Part Material Dimension
Effigy  Barnack limestone  1.63m high 

Work is

Extant Not Sited Lost


Dean and Chapter of Norwich Cathedral 

Listing status

Grade I Grade II* Grade II Don't Know Not Listed

Surface Condition

Corrosion, Deterioration Accretions
Bird Guano Abrasions, cracks, splits
Biological growth Spalling, crumbling
Metallic staining Previous treatments

Structural Condition

Armature exposed Broken or missing parts
Replaced parts Loose elements
Cracks, splits, breaks, holes Spalling, crumbling
Water collection Other
Detail: Legs missing and do not connect with the prominent boots, which are likely to be replacements;


Graffiti Structural damage Surface Damage
Detail: Repainted, perhaps on removal from original site in 1967

Overall condition

Good Fair Poor


No Known Risk At Risk Immediate

Description (physical)

This was the only major figurative sculpture on the outside of the original building, showing the standing figure of a bare-headed ecclesiastic, blessing with his right hand, and holding a crozier in his left, and framed by twisted columns. There is general agreement that the vestments and crozier are those of a bishop, for whom the gesture of blessing was also appropriate and who, at this date, did not necessarily wear a mitre. The slab was set above the doorway of the north transept, which led from the bishop’s palace. The replacement was commissioned by Feilden and Mawson from the Norwich sculptors Derek Morris and Bill Smith. It can still be seen from the bishop’s garden, which is open for charitable causes on selected Sundays in summer. 

Description (iconographical)

Herbert de Losinga, born in Normandy, became bishop of Thetford (and hence East Anglia) in 1091, moving the see to Norwich in 1094, and beginning work on the cathedral two years later. By 1101 building had proceeded far enough for the cathedral be used by the Benedictine monks. On his death in 1119 Bishop Herbert was buried before the high altar. Examination of the slab at the time of its removal showed that the mortar holding it in place was contemporary with that of the north transept, making it unlikely that it was either a re-used funerary slab, as had been suggested, or an image of Bishop Herbert. The full-length imagery and the use of the twisted columns, however, are found in funerary monuments, leading to the ingenious suggestion that Bishop Herbert intended the slab to commemorate his most illustrious predecessor in the see, St Felix, a Burgundian, who had converted East Anglia in the 630s and 640s. The slab may have included a painted halo, and also possibly lettering in the curved arch above his head. 


Date taken:  22/5/2011
Date logged: 

Photographed by:
Sarah Cocke

On Site Inspection

Date:  22/5/2011

Inspected by:
Richard Cocke

Sources and References

Fernie, E., An Architectural History of Norwich Cathedral, Oxford, 1993, 10-14, 83-85; The photo by A.W. Kerr on p. 47 of R.H. Mottram, The Glories of Norwich Cathedral, London, 1948 shows the niche effigy in situ 


Date entered:  28/6/2011

Data inputter:
Richard Cocke