I stumbled across it while walking through Norwich with Julian Pursehouse, and others from the East Anglia District, who had never noticed it before.
There is a wonderful contemporary account in a letter dated 28 September 1751:
‘For a few weeks past, there has been a Methodist preacher in this city: he preached four or five times every day; but constantly morning and evening on the hill upon which the Castle stands, when he is greatly crowded, especially on the Lord’s days; it was computed that the last Lord’s day he was attended by 8 or 10,000. The mob is thoroughly in his interest, as appeared when some young gentlemen very imprudently fired some crackers among them; when in the bustle the preacher was thrown from his table and received a slight wound in the leg. Some of the gentlemen lost their hats and wigs, and had their coats tore to pieces, being likewise much bruised; and probably a few lives were saved by rolling down the hill, the descent of which is nearly perpendicular… No worse consequences have attended this affair than the breaking of a few windows in the house where the preacher lodges. Upon this disturbance the preacher changed his discourse to the stoning of Stephen.’