Manual Ref* NFnnCR009 Show 2 images 1132

Robert Bacon Discovering Iceland

County Norfolk   District Council North Norfolk 
Civil Parish or equivalent Cromer  Town/Village* Cromer 
Road Prince of Wales Road 
Precise Location West Side of the road 
OS Grid Ref TG217421  Postcode NR27 
Previous location(s)  
Setting On Building  Access Public 
Artist/Maker Role Qualifier
James Minns of Norwich  Carver(s)   
G.J. Skipper  Architect(s)   

Commissioned by

Private Company, under chairmanship of B. Bond-Cabbell 

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: Relief in pediment

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
Discovery of Iceland  Stucco painted   
Coats of arms     

Work is

Extant Not Sited Lost



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: Repainted

Structural Condition

Armature exposed Broken or missing parts
Replaced parts Loose elements
Cracks, splits, breaks, holes Spalling, crumbling
Water collection Other


Graffiti Structural damage Surface Damage

Overall condition

Good Fair Poor


No Known Risk At Risk Immediate
Inscriptions TOWN HALL 

Description (physical)

The former Town Hall is a two storey building, with the council chambers on the first floor, lit by large windows framed by bonded fluted Doric piers, set over a rusticated doorway and under a triangular pediment. According to Kelly’s Directory: ‘it was erected in 1890 by a Limited Company, from the designs of Mr G.R. Skipper F.R.I.B.A of Norwich, at a cost, including the site, of £2,000, is a structure of red brick, the front being relieved by ornamental brick work and a band of panel, including the shields of arms of persons of distinction and families connected with the locality. The account in the EDP identifies the planned coats-of arms as: Sir Nicholas de Weyland, first lord of the manor, Sir Bartholomew Read, Lord Mayor of london in 1502, who endowed the Goldsmiths’ School at Cromer; Robert bacon, a mariner of Cromer, to whom is ascribed the discovery of Iceland; Lord Suffield, lord of the manor Cromer Gunners and others; B. Bond-Cabbell, Esq., lord of the manor of Uffords Hall, Cromer, and the families of Wyndham, Buxton, Hoare, Gurney, and Barclay. 

Description (iconographical)

The relief shows a square rigged caravel, with crows’ nest and top sails surrounded by huge walls of ice with seals at the sides. This reflects the local legend, first recorded by Blomefield in 1775 that: ‘Robert Bacon, a mariner of this town of Cromer found out Iceland, and is said to have taken the prince of Scotland, James Stuart, sailing to France for education, in King Henry the Fourth's time.’ The account was repeated in other early nineteenth century guides to Norfolk, including John Chambers’ 1829, A general history of the county of Norfolk, p. 154. As with the rest of the north Norfolk coast the sea has receded but in 1565 Cromer had been listed as a landing place with a pier, with 117 householders. 


Date taken:  7/2/2012
Date logged: 

Photographed by:
Sarah Cocke

On Site Inspection

Date:  7/2/2012

Inspected by:
Richard Cocke

Sources and References

'Cromer Town Hall, Laying the Foundation Stone', EDP, 4 January 1890, information from Alistair Murphy, Cromer Museum; Francis Blomefield, An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: North Erpingham Hundred: Shipden and Cromer, volume 8, first published 1775, from 1805 edition, 102-107,;, outline history; Kelly’s Directory of Norfolk, London, 1894, p.91 accessed 10/02/2012  


Date entered:  19/2/2012

Data inputter:
Richard Cocke