A Grade II-listed statue has returned to its home in the heart of Norwich as work to revamp the area continues.

The statue of Sir Thomas Browne was removed from Hay Hill last year as £3.2m work to give the city's central square a makeover began.

Browne's statue returned in a more central position on Friday, giving passers-by a better view of the bust than in its previous position in the square's far left corner.

It comes as council officials confirmed work, which has trapped the Giuseppino Ices stall in the middle of the site, is currently on track to be completed by early 2024 as planned.

Norwich Evening News: Sir Thomas Browne returns to the city centreSir Thomas Browne returns to the city centre (Image: Norwich City Council)

A Norwich City Council spokesman said: "The project to update Hay Hill is progressing well and we are looking forward to seeing the space start to take shape.

"Our team very carefully lifted Sir Thomas Browne into his new more prominent position, where he’ll have a front-row seat as work continues on site."

The council says it will announce the next steps for other sculptures which adorned the area in the coming weeks after a plan to move them to Elm Hill Gardens was scrapped last year.

Norwich Evening News: The statue of Sir Thomas Browne in its new homeThe statue of Sir Thomas Browne in its new home (Image: Norwich City Council)

It is hoped work in Hay Hill will make the site suitable to host free public events and allow unobstructed movement across the square.

A water feature will also be installed along with new high-quality paving and street furniture.

Norwich Evening News: Work continues at Hay HillWork continues at Hay Hill (Image: Denise Bradley)

Work is funded by the government's £25m towns fund, with a council survey finding that 80pc of those living nearby backed the plans.

The area has attracted much criticism for its state in recent years, with its controversial brain sculpture dividing city folk.

Sir Thomas Browne

Norwich Evening News: Sir Thomas Browne's statue oversees Hay Hill workSir Thomas Browne's statue oversees Hay Hill work (Image: Denise Bradley)

Sir Thomas Browne was an English polymath and author of varied works in a wide range of fields including science and medicine, religion and the esoteric.

He was born in London in 1605 but settled in Norwich in 1637 and practised medicine in the city until his death in 1682. He was buried in St Peter Mancroft Church.

READ MORE: The history of Norwich's Sir Thomas Browne and his statue

Browne was credited with contributing hundreds of words to the English language, including medical, electricity, migrant, and computer.

He believed in the existence of angels and witchcraft and attended the 1662 Bury St Edmunds witch trial, where his citation of a trial in Denmark is thought to have influenced the jury's minds in finding the two women guilty.

King Charles II visited Norwich in 1671 and visited Browne's Haymarket home ahead of a banquet at St Andrew's Hall. It was during the royal visit that he was knighted.