Saving Samson

The Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell needs your help to save Samson, one of the City’s best-loved landmarks.

Working in partnership with the Art Fund through their Art Happens platform, the museum will, with your support, raise £15,000 in just six weeks to Save Samson and proudly place him on permanent display, protecting this fragile and precious piece of the City’s heritage for future generations – explore the campaign to Save Samson here

Most people in Norwich will recognise Samson and Hercules, either as a local landmark in this fine medieval city or from memories of dancing and drinking, when this building was a night club.  But all the time Samson has stood guard outside this magnificent building, no one suspected he was hiding an incredible secret.

As many locals remember, in 1993 both figures were removed for their protection as they were in such a bad state of repair and replaced by fibre glass replicas.  And this is when an amazing discovery was made.  Unbelievably, tests revealed that whilst Hercules was a Victorian replica, Samson dated from the early seventeenth century – historians believe he is a unique survivor from the period and is of national significance.  Over the past couple of years conservators have removed over sixty layers of lead paint to unveil the most intricate of features, including long curly hair and strong arms bulging with muscles.

Now the conservation work is complete the museum wants to display Samson, in a state of the art, climate controlled case where he can stand proud once again, giving visitors the chance to see him in his glory, as he once looked over 350 years ago. 

But the museum needs your help to make this happen.  By donating to this project, you can ensure Samson’s future will be secure for years to come and the story of this much loved Norwich night club can be celebrated and enjoyed by everyone. 

What’s more, as a thank you to donors, the Art Fund offers a fantastic range of rewards, such as exclusive campaign tote bags, limited edition signed prints by Leanda Jaine Illustrations and a behind the scenes conservator led tour to see Samson up close.

Show your support on social media using #SavingSamson