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Open air statuary in

The City of London (4)

Open air statuary in the City of London continued.

Henry VIII

The Gardener

The onHenry VIIIly statue of Henry VIII in the City of London stands above the archway at the Smithfield entrance to Saint Bartholomew’s Hospital (Barts).

This broThe Gardenernze sculpture of a crouching gardener is another by Karin Jonzen and has been sited in various places in the City. Its location at the time of writing is in the Brewers Hall Garden near London Wall.

Angel V

Three Printers

If you sAngel Vtand facing the front of Saint Pauls Cathedral you will have a row of shops on your left. Look at the columns supporting the roof of the walkway and on the top of five of them you will see faces carved into them. These are Angel heads. They were sculpted by Emily Young and named Angel V.  They were commissioned by Standard life Investments and unveiled in 2003.

This scThree Printersulpture by Wilfred Dudeney was originally sited in New Street Square,near Fleet Street, but when the newspapers left and the developers arrived it found it's way to a demolition yard. It was discovered there and moved to the Goldsmiths Hall Garden in 2009. It represents aspects of newspaper-making: a news boy, a printer and an editor. It was commissioned by the Westminster Press group in 1954.

The Gilt of Cain

I have taken the information about this sculpture, which occupies Fen Court, straight from the information board: Gilt of Cain by Michael Visocchi & Lemn Sissay

This powerful sculpture was unveiled by the Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu on 4th September 2008.  The sculpture commemorates the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade in 1807, which began the process of the emancipation of slaves throughout the British Empire.

Fen Court is the site of a churchyard formerly of St Gabriel’s Fenchurch St and now in the Parish of St EdmunThe Gilt of Caind the King and St Mary Woolnoth, Lombard St.  The latter has a strong historical connection with the abolitionist movement of the 18th. and 19th. centuries.  The Rev John Newton, a slave-trader turned preacher and abolitionist, was rector of St Mary Woolnoth from 1780 – 1807.  Newton worked closely alongside the famous abolitionist William Wilberforce.

The granite sculpture is composed of a group of columns surrounding a podium.  The podium calls to mind an ecclesiastical pulpit or slave auctioneer’s stance, whilst the columns evoke stems of sugar cane and are positioned to suggest an anonymous crowd or congregation gathered to listen to a speaker.

The artwork is the result of a collaboration between sculptor Michael Visocchi and poet Lemn Sissay.  Extracts from Lemn Sissay’s poem, ‘Gilt of Cain’, are engraved into the granite.  The poem skilfully weaves the coded language of the City’s stock exchange trading floor with biblical Old Testament references.


Read the poem: Gilt of Cain >>


This project was initiated by Black British Heritage and the Parish of St Mary Woolnoth and was commissioned by the City of London Corporation in partnership with the British Land Company.

The Young Lovers

St. George and the Dragon

In a smThe Young Loversall park between Cannon Street and Saint Pauls Cathedral you will find these two naked bronze figures in an embrace. Designed in 1951 by George Ehlrich, they were unveiled in their present location in 1973

This brSt. George and the Dragononze sculpture of Saint George can be seen in the courtyard of KPMG in Dorset Rise. It has a dragon coiled around it's metal plinth and the four brass tongues are fountain heads projecting into a small pool below. Sculpted by Michael Sandle in 1988 and commissioned by the Mountleigh Group.

Cornhill Devils

Nail

High abCornhill Devilsove the street, in Cornhill, there are some devils looking down. They are on the building next to St. Peters Church.

The story behind them goes: In the late 19th century, a vicar of St. Peters achieved a victory over  developers when he found a flaw in the plans for a new building next door. He found that it would slightly overlap onto the church’s land. The architect had to redraw the plans at great expense and for revenge he added the terracotta figures to glare down at anyone entering the church. One of the figures is said to resembled the vicar!

This giaNailnt, 12 metre high, bronze nail by Gavin Turk can be seen outside the shopping mall at One New Change near Saint Pauls. It was unveiled in May 2011.To quote from the New Change web site: "...a nail sits between the gleam of 21st. century glass and the historic facade of St Paul’s Cathedral. ‘Nail’ represents Turk’s interpretation of the dialogue between these two monuments, and the extraordinary changes that have taken place over the centuries in an area rich in history and heritage".

Queen Anne

CarvedQueen Anne from Sicilian marble, this statue standQueen Annes in front of Saint Pauls Cathedral. Around the base of the statue are four female figures representing Britannia, France, America and Ireland.

The original statue was by Francis Bird but due to damage it was replaced in December 1886 by a replica sculpted by Louis Auguste Malempre and Richard Belt. It is surrounded by cast iron railings. The reason she stands here is that she was the reigning monarch when the cathedral was finally completed in 1710.


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