Village signs of Suffolk

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Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright October 2020, Adrian S Pye; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
Images also under a similar Creative Commons Licence.


An ornamental village sign is erected either at a principal road entrance or in a prominent location such as a village green to announce the village name to those entering the village. The design usually depicts a particular feature of the village or a scene from its history, heritage, or culture. They are typically made of wood or metal or a combination of both, modern aluminium cast and fibreglass signs are becoming more commonplace, the less elaborate are often made within the local community.
The tradition of village signs is believed to have started in Norfolk early in the 20th century when Edward VII suggested that village signs would aid motorists and give a feature of interest on the Sandringham Estate.
The interest soon spread beyond Norfolk can be attributed to Prince Albert, Duke of York (later George VI) who gave a speech to the Royal Academy in 1920 promoting the wider use of village identity signs. The Daily Mail ran a nationwide village sign competition. The prize fund exceeded 2,000 and ten awards were made. The winning schemes were exhibited at Australia House, London in October 1920.
In 1929, Harry Carter, an art and woodwork master at Hamonds Grammar School (which now serves as the sixth form buildings for Hamond's high school in Swaffham), carved a sign for his home town. By the time of his death in 1983 he had carved over 200 town and village signs.
While the practice is now widespread, decorative village signs are particularly common in Norfolk and Suffolk as well other East Anglian counties. Some village signs take the form of sculptures, such as the one at Capel St Andrew, which is constructed entirely from scrap metal.



If I have misinterpreted your village or town sign please contact me and I will happily correct any errors.
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For the village signs of Norfolk click the Link

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