This was the first restoration of a Scheduled Ancient Monument by the Trust. Gybson’s Conduit (aka St Lawrence’s Well, or Gibson’s Fountain) was a public water source erected “for the ease of the common people” by wealthy brewer and Sheriff of Norwich Robert Gybson around 1578. Its construction was a condition of Gybson being allowed to take into private ownership the land on which the original very ancient well was sited.
The elaborate and vainglorious stone surround to the pump, extolling Gybson’s virtues and exhibiting various royal symbols, is all that remains, and a major piece of stonework in the Early Renaissance style. It was moved in the 1980s with the development of Anchor Quay, and previously faced south into Westwick Street, but now faces north into the central courtyard of the Anchor Quay development.
It was purchased by the Trust from the Crown Estate with the help of a grant from the Norwich Society, and the restoration work supported by grants from English Heritage, the John Jarrold Trust, the Paul Bassham Charitable Trust and Norfolk County Council.
Restoration involved meeting a number of challenges, extensive water damage and vandalism requiring removal of the stonework to a conservation workshop to effect repairs with the conservation and replication of the original paintwork taking place after detailed analysis of the remaining on-site decoration.