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Statuary (4)

©Barry Carter 2002 - 2021


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The Young Lovers

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

The Gilt of Cain

The information about this sculpture, which occupies Fen Court, is taken 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 Edmund 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.
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.
Read the poem: Gilt of Cain

More sculpture and street furniture in the City of London

This giant 12 metre high bronze nail is by Gavin Turk. It 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".


Cornhill Devils

High above the street, in Cornhill, there are some devils looking down. They are on the building next to St. Peters Church.
The story goes that 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 bronze plaque is located On Ludgate House at the North West corner of Ludgate Circus. Designed by Frances Doyle-Jones, it commemorates the life of Edgar Wallace. The inscription reads: Edgar Wallace. Reporter. Born London, 1875. Died Hollywood, 1932. Founder member of the Company of Newspaper Makers. "He knew wealth and poverty, yet had walked with kings and kept his bearing. Of his talents he gave lavishly to authorship. But to Fleet Street he gave his heart".

Edgar Wallace

Lady Justice

On the roof dome of the Old Bailey, London’s Central Criminal Court, stands a golden statue of Lady Justice by F. W. Pomeroy.  She holds a sword in her right hand and the scales of justice in her left. The statue is supposed to show blind Justice but contrary to popular belief, the figure is not blindfolded. In the court's brochure we are informed that "Lady Justice was originally not blindfolded, and because her ' maidenly form ' is supposed to guarantee her impartiality which renders the blindfold redundant".


Doctor Samuel Johnson had a house in Gough Square (you can still visit it today). He had a cat called Hodge, and this sculpture represents that cat. The bronze cat, by Jon Bickley, sits on a on the dictionary that his owner compiled, along with empty oyster shells, on a stone plinth near the house. The statue was unveiled in 1997. One inscription reads "a very fine cat indeed".

These unusual sculptures by Anthony Caro assisted by Gavin Morris stand on the north side of the Millennium Bridge. The design of both pairs is related. They consist of a rectangular steel tunnel with a narrow and a wide end, surmounted by a narrower rectangular tunnel. The larger internal space at the bottom, opens into the narrower space above. They are made from shot-blasted stainless steel.

HSBC Gates


This bronze sculpture of Icarus is by Michael Ayrton. It is an abstract figure with uplifted wings. Commissioned by Bernard Sunley Investment Trust Ltd.it was unveiled in 1973.
It stands in the garden at the centre of Old Change Square facing Nicholas Cole Abbey.

The Cordwainer

A cordwainer was a worker in fine leather mainly making fine quality shoes. The ward of Cordwainer in the City was where most of them congregated. This sculpture by Alma boys was unveiled in 2002 to celebrate the 100th. anniversary of the Ward of Cordwainer Club. It stands in Watling Street near St. Mary Aldermary church.

Beyond Tomorrow

This sculpture by Karin Jonzen was donated to the City in 1972 by Lord Blackford, a former deputy speaker in the House of Commons. It resides on the North Piazza of the Guildhall and shows two naked figures, male and female reclining and looking forward, possibly to the future.

John Milton

The poet John Milton was born in Bread Street, which runs from Cheapside to Gresham Street. He was christened at All Hallows Church. Both the church and his birthplace are no longer there due to rebuilding of the area. The plaque commemorating his birth was taken from the wall of All Hallows and now resides on the side wall of Saint Mary le Bow Church in Cheapside.

Decorative wall art prints