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Thomas Pykerell

Location: Pykerell's House, Rosemary Lane, Norwich, NR3 3BB

Map showing location of Pykerell's House

Thomas Pykerell was a wealthy merchant and three-time mayor of Norwich. He commissioned twelve roundels stained glass windows (or roundels) to be fitted into his house on Rosemary Lane. Each window displayed the labours of the 12 months of the year. Four of those windows are in the Castle’s collection.

Listen to the poem

Read the poem

The fish decorates his house with roundels. They show the changing seasons. By the time the pykerell has become a pike there are only four windows left. 

The fish lines up twelve labours of the month to shine in his house and out of it. These labours are not his labours but he likes the way they look. Faces look up and out and down from the windows. Yellow, green, and pink light makes its way in to shine upon the flagstone floor and later, at night, it blinks back out onto the street. From one window the warm yellow of corn tells of feasting; it smells like the dusty air of early September. From another, the winter glow of fortune flashes blue. 

The fish makes his money from cloth, from wool, from sheep. The fish is a merchant. The fish owns a house on Rosemary Lane, a house to house the windows the fish bought with his money from sheep and wool. The fish is the mayor of Norwich.

In March, the still-bare trees are cut for firewood. In April, a man rushes inside, sheltering from a storm. The glass glows cold, but the fish is roasting himself inside his thatched house, warm and round and waiting for summer.

Follow the trail

Go to St Andrew's Hall for poem 11: Thomas Erpingham's coat of arms is everywhere if you look