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This statue (created by John Bell) in Norton’s St. James’ Church is that of the sculptor Sir Francis Chantrey. Born in Norton in 1781, he became one of the country’s greatest sculptors despite his humble beginnings as an apprentice grocer. He started out by painting local Sheffielders from his workshop in Paradise Square before moving to London for two years where he studied at the Royal Academy. On his return he made the step in to sculpting, his first commission being that of Sheffield Cathedral vicar, James Wilkinson. This propelled his career, a bust of Horatio Nelson for Trinity House London followed, then a replica of King George III immortalising him as one of the greatest sculptors of his time. His works can be found locally in Sheffield Cathedral, Cutler’s Hall and Ilam Hall. Just to put some perspective to his talents and influence, his works adorn the British Museum collections, Westminster Abbey, Windsor Castle, both Oxford and Cambridge universities and Buckingham Palace. He accumulated a number of honours throughout his life, most notably his knighthood in 1835. Despite all this Sir Chantrey never forgot his Norton roots. He declined a burial in Westminster Abbey to be brought back to village of his birth where his modest grave can be seen today. He left money in his will to the local school to educate 10 poor boys and to 5 poor local families.