Locals split over Yoxman statue by the side of a busy A road

‘East Anglia’s Angel of the North will end up causing an accident’: Locals split over 26ft high bronze statue of NAKED man by the side of a busy A road as some say it distracts drivers – but others describe the well-endowed ‘Yoxman’ as ‘impressive’

  • The 26ft high Yoxman statue stands near the A12 at Cockfield Hall, in Yoxford
  • It was created by sculptor Laurence Edwards and unveiled at end of last year 
  • Towering bronze sculpture has seen scores of people stopping to take picture
  • A giant bronze statue of a naked man which is being hailed as East Anglia’s answer to the Angel of the North has been turning the heads of passing motorists on a busy road – and some say, dangerously so.   

    The 26ft tall Yoxman statue, which was unveiled at the end of last year, stands near the A12 at Cockfield Hall, in Yoxford, east Suffolk.

    Created by sculptor Laurence Edwards, the towering statue, which has been likened to a ‘wounded giant’, has seen scores of people stopping in a lay-by opposite the sculpture in order to capture a picture of the artwork.  

    However it has since left locals split, with some describing the sculpture as a road safety hazard and others hailing it as ‘very impressive’.

    One villager said: ‘It is a marvellous sculpture and is very impressive – but it could end up causing an accident as it is distracting motorists.

    The 26ft tall Yoxman statue stands near the A12 at Cockfield Hall, in Yoxford, east Suffolk and was created by sculptor Laurence Edwards

    The 26ft tall Yoxman statue stands near the A12 at Cockfield Hall, in Yoxford, east Suffolk and was created by sculptor Laurence Edwards

    The towering sculpture, which has been likened to a 'wounded giant', has seen scores of people stopping in a lay-by opposite the statue in order to take a picture

    The towering sculpture, which has been likened to a ‘wounded giant’, has seen scores of people stopping in a lay-by opposite the statue in order to take a picture

    ‘The A12 is a very busy road and people can’t help looking at a depiction of a naked man in all his glory as they are driving past.’

    Meanwhile a social media user said: ‘Seems a bit daft to put it by the A12, surely it’s a traffic hazard. Drivers looking at that and not the traffic, or where they’re going.’ 

    However many have welcomed the statue, with one East Anglian admirer describing it as: ‘Our very own Angel of the East’.

    One user wrote: ‘Drove past the incredible Yoxman statue at Cockfield Hall on the A12 at Yoxford at the the weekend. It was installed in November and was made by the Suffolk artist Laurence Edwards. Just amazing. Have you seen it?’

    While another person commented: ‘On route along the A12 so had to stop to take a photo of the Yoxman at Yoxford.’

    Meanwhile another social media user added: ‘My first encounter with Yoxman bronze by Laurence Edwards in the grounds of 17th century Cockfield Hall where we join bemused drivers pulling in to a once quiet lay-by on the A12 in Yoxford to admire the 8m high statue in its newly landscaped lakeside setting. Pretty stunning!’ 

    The statue is in the grounds of Cockfield Hall which is set to form part of the Wilderness Reserve luxury holiday retreat, created by property billionaire Jon Hunt.

    It was created by sculptor Laurence Edwards who lives in the village and drew inspiration for it from the bogs and woodland of the east Suffolk coast.

    Mr Edwards said he wanted its surface to ‘reflect the gnarly bark of ancient oaks growing in the parkland around Yoxford’ with its arms likened to ‘oaken branches’.

    He likened it to ‘a wounded giant perhaps, contemplating the mystery of the lake in front of him, awed by landscape aware of his fragility, an appropriate message for our time’.

    A planning application for the sculpture described it as ‘a large scale showpiece work for east Suffolk.’ 

    The giant statue is in the grounds of Cockfield Hall which is set to form part of the Wilderness Reserve luxury holiday retreat

    The giant statue is in the grounds of Cockfield Hall which is set to form part of the Wilderness Reserve luxury holiday retreat

    Sculptor Laurence Edwards said he drew inspiration for it from the bogs and woodland of the east Suffolk coast

    Sculptor Laurence Edwards said he drew inspiration for it from the bogs and woodland of the east Suffolk coast

    East Suffolk Council said that the sculpture was meant to be 'tantalising, serving as a beacon for what is possible in the region'

    East Suffolk Council said that the sculpture was meant to be ‘tantalising, serving as a beacon for what is possible in the region’

    It stated that it was intended to be ‘a major landmark for the region – an attraction for tourists and locals seeking cultural and rural recreation and relaxation’.

    The application, which was approved by East Suffolk Council, said that the sculpture was meant to be ‘tantalising, serving as a beacon for what is possible in the region’.

    Councillors welcomed it as being ‘highly appropriate’ and adding ‘a sense of drama’ to the parkland of Grade One listed Cockfield Hall – which dates back to the 16th century. 

    Yoxford Parish Council chairman Russell Pearce said: ‘It has settled into the landscape quite well. I think it is fantastic, so I am biased.

    ‘Some people are negative and say they don’t like it and don’t see the point of it. But the number of people who stop in the lay-by to look at it is incredible.

    ‘I like the fact that you can see it as you drive past, and if you are in the High Street you can catch a glimpse of it in the gaps between houses.

    ‘People have likened it to being Suffolk’s answer to the Angel of the North. It is certainly encouraging more visitors to the village who have just come to see it.’ 

    Last year Mr Edwards, who spent four years working on the project, described the sculpture as ‘the Green Man of our age’.

    He told the BBC: ‘It can almost be seen by my house.

    ‘He’s a Green Man for our age, a lightning rod for loads of issues about ecology and what we are doing to this planet.

    Many on social media have welcomed the statues, with one describing it as 'stunning'

    Many on social media have welcomed the statues, with one describing it as ‘stunning’

    ‘He’s kind of like a revenant, a visitor from the past who’s come back.’

    Mr Hunt, who co-founded London estate agents Foxtons, was said to be worth £1.345 billion and the 126th richest person in the UK according to last year’s Sunday Tim Rich List.

    His Wilderness Reserve business rents out a range of luxury country houses and cottages for staycations on his private 8,000 acre estate close to the Suffolk coast.

    Visitors in the last year have included comedian Jack Whitehall and the cast of the reality show Made in Chelsea. 

    MailOnline has contacted the Wilderness Retreat for comment. 

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