Thursday, 3 May 2012

An Elizabethan Gentleman

A passing (male adult) visitor's hand lends some idea of scale

Here is a recently discovered (or, perhaps, re-discovered!) graffito, found in Norwich Cathedral. If you click on the image you will see that it is a bearded figure wearing a ruff.

Here is a close-up of the figure's hip. As you will see, the attire is very distinctive; and, although I profess no expertise in this area, I would date the graffito to the late 1500s.

This depiction of an Elizabethan gentleman is unusually large - around two feet high in fact. Judging from the colour of the lines and the whole 'look' I would adjudge this to have been etched into the wall during the sixteenth century. Although it lies in shadow underneath the treasury vaulting, I was mightily surprised to discover this, having surveilled this area several times previously. It just shows how important persistance is when attempting to hunt for ancient graffiti.

Huzzah to curious minds and treasures tucked away in dark corners! Huzzah to the anonymous carver of this figure! Huzzah!


  1. It does look to be spot on late 1500 or early 1600s. A wonderful discovery my friend!

  2. I recognise that pointed beard, fancy ruff and well padded trunk hose anywhere. TIS A SINNER.

  3. Falstaff, as I live and breathe.