Manual Ref* NFnrNOR158 Show 3 images 583

Wind in the Willows fountain - Hay Hill

County Norfolk   District Council Norwich City Council 
Civil Parish or equivalent Norwich  Town/Village* Norwich 
Road Hay Hill 
Precise Location On corner of brick plinth in front of Topshop 
OS Grid Ref TG228082  Postcode NR14 
Previous location(s)  
Setting Public square  Access Public 
Artist/Maker Role Qualifier
Nick Deans  Sculptor(s)   

Commissioned by

Norwich City Council 

Design & Constrn period


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: Reliefs inspired by the Wind in the Willows

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
Relief  Bronze  At corner H. 75 cms W at both sides 3.30 metres 

Work is

Extant Not Sited Lost


Norwich City Council 

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
Detail: Its position for long behind a hot dog stall means that it is filthy

Structural Condition

Armature exposed Broken or missing parts
Replaced parts Loose elements
Cracks, splits, breaks, holes Spalling, crumbling
Water collection Other
Detail: The sculpture, originally a water feature, formed part of the changes to Hay Hill, replacing the 19th century garden in which Sir Thomas Browne had been set, begun in 1972. When Hay Hill was given its most recent, 1990, new brick build the sculpture was partially dismantled in order to repair the water works behind it and unfortunately a connecting piece of bronze was mislaid by the contractors City Works. There is no budget either to repair or to run it - information from George Ishmael Landscape Planning and Strategy Officer Norwich City Council.


Graffiti Structural damage Surface Damage

Overall condition

Good Fair Poor


No Known Risk At Risk Immediate
Inscriptions Plaque set into pavement reads: WIND IN THE WILLOWS SCULPTED BY NICK DEANS 1950--1991 

Description (physical)

The panels are set under a plinth with channels for the water in front. For long the fountain was obscured by a hot dog stall now moved to a site next to the tree above the sculpture. A photo in the Eastern Evening News on 11/08/74 shows Nick Deans installing the fountain which was due to have water flowing through it by the end of that month. 

Description (iconographical)

The sculpture shows the twisting trunks of the willow trees of The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, first published in 1908 but given renewed fame by Ernest Shepard's illustrations from 1931. Toad, the main character, struts alongside the other wild life on the north facing side just separated by the trunk of a willow from the famous scene where the Water Rat takes Mole out for his first trip in a rowing-boat. He felt the boat sway lightly under him. Nice? Its the only thing, said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke Believe me my young friend there is nothing absolutely nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing he went on dreamily messing about in boats; messing. Look ahead, Rat! cried the Mole suddenly. It was too late. The boat struck the bank full tilt. The dreamer, the joyous oarsman, lay on his back at the bottom of the boat his heels in the air. 


Date taken:  12/5/2007
Date logged: 

Photographed by:
Sarah Cocke

On Site Inspection

Date:  12/5/2007

Inspected by:
Richard Cocke

Sources and References

BOE I 321 Grahame K. The Wind in the Willows with original illustrations by Ernest H. Shepard London 1931 (1st unillustrated ed. 1908) republished 2000 5-6 


Date entered:  18/8/2007

Data inputter:
Richard Cocke