Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Big Man: The Grave of Robert Hales, The Norfolk Giant

The church of St Mary in the village of West Somerton, north of Great Yarmouth, and the final resting place of the 19th century celebrity Robert Hales - more commonly known as 'The Norfolk Giant.' Born in the village in 1820, Hales - who would ulimately reach a height of seven feet eight inches and a weight of thirty two stone - was a successful circus performer, meeting Queen Victoria and travelling to America to work with the infamous P.T. Barnum. Whilst in America Hales married the eight foot tall Elizabeth Simpson.

Hales died in 1863. Himself one of nine children, other members of his family are also buried in the churchyard. His sister Mary also grew to a height of seven foot two inches.


  1. One thing about the tomb of Robert Hales which left me a little disappointed was its scale - or lack thereof! They should've made it eight feet long.

    Munro Tweeder-Harris, Esq.

  2. Munro - absolutely! We were muttering some bad-taste comments as to how we reckoned they fit the big man in there...

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  4. The dates don't work. If you subtract age 50 from date death of 1863 then his birth year should be 1813 instead of 1820