Manual Ref* NFnrNOR030 Show 13 images 91

Armed Science

County Norfolk   District Council Norwich City Council 
Civil Parish or equivalent Norwich City Council  Town/Village* Norwich - Earlham Cemetery 
Road Earlham road cemetery 
Precise Location N/e sector of cemetery near pedestrian entrance from Dereham Road 
OS Grid Ref TG214091  Postcode NR2 
Previous location(s)  
Setting In cemetery  Access Public 
Artist/Maker Role Qualifier
John Bell  Designer(s)   
Doultons  Ceramicist(s)   
Frederick Want & sons  Stonemason(s)   

Commissioned by

Public Subscription 

Design & Constrn period


Date of installing


Exact date of unveiling

Exact date of unveiling: By Baron Waveney on 17/10/1878. 


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: Pre 1890 war memorial

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
Statue of Armed Science  Terracotta  H. 2 metres 
Upper Plinth  Portland stone  H. 70 cms W & D 2 metres 
Lowel Plinths  Portland stone  I. H 70 cms W & D 180 cms II H. 90 cms W & D 140 cms 
Central Pedestal  Portland stone  H. 180 cms W &D 110 cms 

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: Most of the terracotta had worn badly, before restoration by NPS, see below.

Structural Condition

Armature exposed Broken or missing parts
Replaced parts Loose elements
Cracks, splits, breaks, holes Spalling, crumbling
Water collection Other
Detail: The lettering on the plinth had become unreadable. It was restored to legibility by NPS in 2013 and early 2014, when they cleaned Armed Science and rebuilt the damaged features, her face and nose, bottom left detail of the helmet and the scabbard. Unfortunately the features, difficult to see from the ground, are untypical of Bell's work and were not based on the marble Armed Science now at Woolwich.


Graffiti Structural damage Surface Damage

Overall condition

Good Fair Poor


No Known Risk At Risk Immediate
Signatures/Marks Signed on base of sculpture: J. BELL SC; DOULTON & CO On base of plinth: F. S. Want and sons, 117 Dereham Road, Fecit 
Inscriptions On plinth at top; IN MEMORY OF THE BRAVE; DEATH IS SWALLOWED IN VICTORY At bottom of Pedestal : THANKS BE TO GOD WHICH GIVETH US VICTORY THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. On east pedestal top: WAR A GOOD WARFARE Rear pedestal top GOD IS LOVE West pedestal: FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT TAKE UNTO YOU THE WHOLE ARMOUR OF GOD On bottom plinth: THIS MONUMENT IS ERECTED BY SUBSCRIPTION IN MEMORY OF SOLDIERS WHO WERE STATIONED AT NORWICH AS A TOKEN OF REGARD AND RESPECT OF THE COUNTRY OCTOBER 1878 C.W.BOILEAU C.F BUXTON E.K.HARVEY H.P. LESTRANGE D.STEWARD F.H.GURNEY J. J. WINTERS COMMITTEE. Names (now legible after restoration) are carved on all the plaques, beginning with that to the south, the main viewpoint This records soldiers who had died at the time of the commission, and the series continues anti-clockwise to the east. 

Description (physical)

Standing allegorical figure placed in relative isolation in the Earlham road cemetery in a well preserved lawn, surrounded by trees and now filled with neat lines of the headstones of Norfolk men killed during World War I and II. The statue is raised high on a low square plinth, which rises from chamfered sides framing the central pedestal with the - now illegible names of the soldiers. This in turn is set on a larger version of the upper plinth - surrounded by four stone bollards connected by iron railings each on two low twisted iron columns. The helmet is crowned with laurel capped with a plume to recall the helmets of guardsmen and her hair falls down over the top of her cuirass. This is decorated with a rose on her left and thistle on the right. The cuirass is belted at her waist where it ends over her robes. She holds a staff in one hand to signify command and a scroll, for science, in the other, with a sword hanging down from the belt on her left side. Frederick Want is listed as a stonemason at 136 Dereham Road, Harrod's Directory, 1877, p.485; Kelly's, 1896, p.280 

Description (iconographical)

Erected by public subscription in memory of soldiers who had been stationed in Norwich, but who, presumably had been killed in the Norfolk Regiment's involvement in the second Afghan war of 1878-1880. The statue is John Bell and Doulton's terracotta version of Bell’s Armed Science, commissioned by Robert Adair, Baron Waveney, in 1855 to commemorate his association with the Royal Artillery at Woolwich. The scale of the Earlham Cemetery version, moulded in one piece, is exceptional. The statue is conceived in the round with striking views from the sides and rear, where the figure stands in front of Arum lily leaves, which cover a scroll, presumably recording the names of the youthful dead, with whom Arum lilies had long been associated. Adair, born 1811, became 2nd baronet in 1869. In addition to his interest in gunnery (he was the honorary colonel of Suffolk Artillery Militia) he was a fellow of the Royal Society. The original Armed Science was in marble and developed from Bell’s model exhibited at the R.A. that year. It was placed in the officers’ mess at Woolwich. That figure combines sweeping robes and a cuirass, difficult to read in the weathered state of the terracotta version. She holds a scroll in one hand, to symbolise science, and a baton in the other to represent command. This symbolism was continued in the helmet used for the Norwich version where a lion’s head for strength was crowned with a plume brushed up into a peak. Baron Waveney commissioned a marble version, presumably at the same time as the Woolwich statue, to stand outside his East Anglian home, Flixton Hall, which had been rebuilt after a fire in 1846. The house and its estate fell into disrepair and in 1950 was sold privately to a speculator, while the statue of Armed Science was acquired for Monks Hall, where it was placed on one of a couple open spaces by some farm buildings to the east of Monks' Hall near the Waveney. It was sold by Cheffins Cambridge, Lot 896 8 September 2016, marble 225 cm high. having been displayed in a wood near the Waveney it was covered in moss. Even so the detailed photograph of the marble head underlines the clumsy restoration of the terracotta version, coarsening Bell's reworking of Michelangelo's helmeted head of Lorenzo de' Medici in the Medici chapel, San Lorenzo, Florence, Four terracotta versions were commissioned from the original, one by Lord Armstrong and three by Baron Waveney, who in 1882 presented one to the Peoples' Park in Ballymena. He had begun rebuilding Ballymena Castle in 1865 and presented the park to Ballymena in 1870. The statue (in even worse condition than the Norwich one) was added in 1882 to commemorate the visit to the Park of John Poyntz 5th Earl Spencer, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and Countess Spencer. Rephotographed and entry revised 14/04/2014 


Date taken:  15/2/2006
Date logged: 

Photographed by:
Sarah Cocke

On Site Inspection

Date:  15/2/2006

Inspected by:
Richard Cocke

Sources and References

Barnes, Richard, The Year of Public Sculpture. Norfolk, Kirstead, 2001, 32; Barnes, Richard, John Bell. The Sculptor’s Life and Works, Kirstead, 1999, 53 and 74; Debrett’s Peerage Baronetage and Knighthood, London, 1882, p.656, memorials 15/02/06; information from Stephen Brown, Senior Building Surveyor, Norfolk Property Services 


Date entered:  9/7/2006

Data inputter:
Richard Cocke