Noble was born in Hackness, near Scarborough, as the son of a stonemason, and served his apprenticeship under his father. He left Yorkshire for London when quite young, there he studied under John Francis (the father of Mary Thornycroft, the sculptress). Exhibiting regularly at the Royal Academy from 1845 until his death, Noble became recognised after winning the competition to construct the Wellington Monument in Manchester in 1856.
Although prolific Noble was never in perfect health. He died at the age of 56 and is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London. His uncompleted works were finished by his assistant, J. Edwards.