Manual Ref* NFklSA002 Show 11 images 540

Norfolk Gates

County Norfolk   District Council King's Lynn 
Civil Parish or equivalent Dersingham  Town/Village* Sandringham 
Road Dersingham Road 
Precise Location North of Sandringham estate 
OS Grid Ref TF691290  Postcode PE35 
Previous location(s) Great exhibition London 1862 -1863, Sandringham estate, moved here in 1908 present site 
Setting Private estate  Access Public 
Artist/Maker Role Qualifier
Thomas Jeckyll  Designer(s)   
Barnard Bishop and Barnards  Metal worker(s)   

Commissioned by

Barnard Bishop and Barnards for great exhibition of 1862 subsequently purchased for Prince of Wales by public subscription 1863 

Design & Constrn period


Date of installing

1863 and 1908 

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: Gates and gateposts

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
Central piers  Cast Iron painted black  H. 4.50 metres W& D 90 
Main Gates  Wrought iron painted black  H.4 metres ea W. 2 metres 
Side piers  Cast iron painted black  H. 3.50 W & D. 92 cms 
Side gates  Wrought iron painted black  H. 2.40 W. 1.80 metres 
Railings at sides  Wrought iron painted  H. 2 metres ea L. 9 metres 

Work is

Extant Not Sited Lost


Sandringham estate 

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: First restored by Hodgson Forge in 1982 when the top of the piers had come away from the supports.

Structural Condition

Armature exposed Broken or missing parts
Replaced parts Loose elements
Cracks, splits, breaks, holes Spalling, crumbling
Water collection Other
Detail: By 1982 there had been considerable loss of the curled flowers throughout the gates at a height at which they could be picked off.


Graffiti Structural damage Surface Damage
Detail: The decoration on the piers has suffered in a similar way, with the lower flowers being removed. The four strips at the sides of the pedestrian gates have now been restored by Hodgsons

Overall condition

Good Fair Poor


No Known Risk At Risk Immediate
Inscriptions HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE on Prince of Wales' coat of arms 

Description (physical)

The gates are set between four piers, cast rather than wrought, iron which separate the carriage from the pedestrian entrances and are flanked by railings set on a brick base. The decoration above the main gate curves elegantly around the Prince of Wales’ coat of arms and at the side over the lamps. The top of the railings is decorated by ivy with rose and thistle - the emblems of Scotland and England - and by classically inspired acanthus beneath. this contrasts with Jeckyll’s mastery of naturalistic English wild flowers: lords and ladies and harts tongue on the cornice, vine and grapes and - above the Boroughs’ coats of arms- sugar maple (identified by Roger Last). The restoration by Hodgsons replaces the missing decoration with new hand wrought flowers based on the originals and and a detailed drawing from 1894. Full restoration of the damaged spiral flowers at hand height is an enormous task 

Description (iconographical)

The ironwork Gates were designed by Thomas Jeckyll for Barnard Bishop and Barnard to display at the London International Exhibition of 1862. The work was supervised by Frank Ames. They were purchased by public subscription by the Borough of Norfolk and the County Boroughs as a gift to Prince of Wales on his marriage in 1863. Their coats of arms were added on plaques at the base of the main piers (clockwise from top left) Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Kings’ Lynn and Thetford. That of Norfolk in the centre combines their arms before the official grant in 1902 with the crest of the then sheriff Robert Harvey of Crown Point. The coats of arms of the royal family and of the Prince of Wales are held by griffins above the piers and centre of the gate. They were probably once closer to Sandringham House before being blown down in a gale of 1908 when restored by Frank Ames and moved their present site - Dersingham Avenue. The gates were intended as a display of virtuosity by designer and manufacturer and were appreciated at the time when described by the Times as ‘the most elaborate perfection of wrought-iron workmanship’(although the scale of the task meant, as Hodgson have noted, that some of the smaller flowers were cast and then soldered or screwed to their stem). 


Date taken:  25/7/2006
Date logged: 

Photographed by:
Sarah Cocke

On Site Inspection

Date:  25/7/2006

Inspected by:
Richard Cocke

Sources and References

Fiske R. Mourin K. Page P. and Sims T. Heraldry at Sandringham Norwich Heraldry Society 2002 (information from Philippa Sims) Weber Soros Susan and Arbuthnott Catherine Thomas Jeckyll Architect and Designer 1827-1881 London and New Haven 2003 205-07; Information from colin Hodgson, Hodgson's Forge 


Date entered:  23/11/2007

Data inputter:
Richard Cocke