William Bloye

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William James Bloye
Born 1890 (1890)
Died 6 June 1975
Arezzo, Italy
Known for Sculpture

William James Bloye (1890 – 6 June 1975 Arezzo) was an English sculptor, active in Birmingham either side of World War II.


He studied, and later, taught at the Birmingham School of Art (his training was interrupted by World War I, when he served in the Royal Army Medical Corps from 1915 to 1917;[1] he was eventually succeeded at Birmingham by John Bridgeman), where his pupils included Gordon Herickx, Roy Kitchin, Raymond Mason, John Poole and Ian Walters. He also studied stone-carving and letter cutting under Eric Gill around 1921.

Blue plaque at Golden Hillock Road.

In 1925 he became a member of the Birmingham Civic Society, having, at about that time, a studio at 111, Golden Hillock Road, Small Heath, Birmingham. As Birmingham's unofficial civic sculptor he worked on virtually all public commissions including libraries, hospitals and the University. He often carved bas-relief plaques, typically for public houses in Birmingham, and decorated a number of buildings by the architect Holland W. Hobbiss.

During the 1920s, he served on the Technical Committee of the Birmingham Civic Society.[2]

He became a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors: associate (with the honorific suffix) ARBS in 1934, and fellow (FRBS) in 1938. He also won the latter's Otto Beit Medal. Retiring from the School of Art in 1956 he moved to Solihull. He died in Arezzo, Italy in 1975.

In December 2010, a blue plaque was unveiled at City College, on the site of his former studio.[1]

As of January 2010, Birmingham City Council are working on the restoration Bloye's statue of Pan at Aston Hall. The statue's head is missing, and they have appealed for old photographs, to assist in its reconstruction.[3]


William J Bloye, 111 Golden Hillock Rd, Small Heath, sculptor
William Bloye's entry in the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists members' register; in his own hand. Dated 1930.

Bloye was closely associated with the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA). Although the two 1919 bronze plaques at the RBSA entrance are the earliest known work by Bloye in Birmingham, he only became a member in 1930.[4] After a period as vice-president, he became president in 1948[5] and served in that role until 1950. He was also the RBSA's Professor of Sculpture[5] from at least the mid-1940s until at least 1961[6] (after which time the post is no longer mentioned in the annual catalogues).[7]

The Society's permanent collection includes one of his works, a life-size plaster bust, Head of Man.[8] It is undated and not usually on display. The subject's name is not recorded.


Work Location
(Birmingham unless stated)
Date Picture Coordinates
(With links to map and aerial photo sources)
Bronze Plaques Royal Birmingham Society of Artists 1919 (1919) William Bloye RBSA Coat of Arms.jpg 52°29′06″N 1°54′27″W / 52.484891°N 1.907520°W / 52.484891; -1.907520 (RBSA bronze plaques) Formerly at the Society's old headquarters on New Street[9]
Allegories of Art and Industry over the north-west door of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (The Feeney Gallery extension), Great Charles Street c 1919 (1919) Birmingham Feeny Art Gallery Bloy.jpg 52°28′52″N 1°54′18″W / 52.4811°N 1.9050°W / 52.4811; -1.9050 (BM&AG: 'Allegories of Art and Industry') Sculpture[9]
Call, Front Line and Return Hall of Memory, Broad Street 1925 (1925) Bloye Hall of Memory - Call.jpg Bloye Hall of Memory - Front Line.jpg Bloye Hall of Memory - Return.jpg 52°28′46″N 1°54′25″W / 52.4795°N 1.9070°W / 52.4795; -1.9070 (Hall of Memory: 'Call','Front Line' and 'Return') Interior bas-relief carvings[9]
Four bas relief panels: 'Wisdom, Fortitude, Charity, Faith' Legal and General Assurance Building, 7 Waterloo Street 1932 (1932) L&G Assurance Building 7 Waterloo Street - Bloye Wisdom 561.jpg 52°28′49″N 1°54′00″W / 52.480405°N 1.900024°W / 52.480405; -1.900024 (Legal & General Assurance, Waterloo St: 'Wisdom, Fortitude, Charity, Faith') Exterior high level bas-relief carvings.[9] (See Media related to Bloye sculptures on Legal and General Assurance Building 7 Waterloo Street at Wikimedia Commons)
Capitals and pediment sculptures New Oxford House, 16 Waterloo Street 1935 (1935) New Oxford House 16 Waterloo Street - Bloye capital 507.JPG 52°28′48″N 1°54′05″W / 52.479942°N 1.901489°W / 52.479942; -1.901489 (New Oxford House, Waterloo St) Exterior: two capitals, shield above door and upstairs pediment and putto.[9] (See Media related to Bloye sculptures on New Oxford House 16 Waterloo Street at Wikimedia Commons)
Coat of arms and two lion reliefs Council House, Priory Road, Dudley 1928 (1928) Dudley Council House.jpg 52°30′44″N 2°05′03″W / 52.5122°N 2.0841°W / 52.5122; -2.0841 (Dudley Council House: Arms and lions) Façade on Council House (Town Hall)[10]
Fox and Hollybush Acocks Green 1927 (1927)-8 Bloye Fox and Hollybush sculpture.jpg 52°26′39″N 1°50′03″W / 52.44408°N 1.83418°W / 52.44408; -1.83418 ('Fox and Hollybush', former pub sign) Bas-relief from former Fox Hollies pub.[9] Now on Lidl supermarket
War Memorial: George and the Dragon and lions on flagpoles Town Hall, Priory Street, Dudley 1928 (1928) Bloye Dudley George and the Dragon and flagpoles.jpg 52°30′41″N 2°05′04″W / 52.5115°N 2.0844°W / 52.5115; -2.0844 (Dudley Council House: George and the Dragon) also four bronze lions (1936) on flagpoles, Town Hall tower[10]
Dudley's Past Town Hall, corner of Priory Road and Priory Street, Dudley 1935 (1935) Bloye Dudleys Past.jpg 52°30′43″N 2°05′02″W / 52.5120°N 2.0839°W / 52.5120; -2.0839 (Dudley Council House: Dudley's Past) [10]
Running stag Perry Barr Stadium 1929 (1929) Perry Barr Greyhound Stadium Bloye stag.jpg 52°31′09″N 1°53′52″W / 52.519192°N 1.897717°W / 52.519192; -1.897717 (Perry Barr Stadium: Running Stag) Stone bas-relief; attributed[9]
The Antelope, pub sign Sparkhill c. 1929 (1929) The Antelope, Sparkhill.jpg 52°27′12″N 1°51′57″W / 52.453362°N 1.865753°W / 52.453362; -1.865753 (Antelope pub sign, Sparkhill) Bas-relief pub sign. Designed by Bloye, sculpted by his assistant, Tom Wright[9]
Allegory of Painting Art Gallery, Avenue Road, Leamington Spa 1929 (1929) Life-size female nude in sandstone[11]
Aesculapius Chest Clinic, Great Charles Street 1930 (1930) Aesculapius on Birmingham Chest Clinic.jpg 52°28′54″N 1°54′17″W / 52.4817°N 1.9047°W / 52.4817; -1.9047 (Chest Clinic: Aesculapius) [9]
Pan Aston Hall, Birmingham 1934 (1934) Bloye Pan at Aston Hall 8.JPG 52°30′24″N 1°53′09″W / 52.50658°N 1.88577°W / 52.50658; -1.88577 (Aston Hall: Pan) Undergoing restoration.[3][9]
Two stone vases Aston Hall, Birmingham 1934 (1934) Bloye vase at Aston Hall.JPG 52°30′24″N 1°53′07″W / 52.50666°N 1.88519°W / 52.50666; -1.88519 (Aston Hall: Stone vase 1) 52°30′23″N 1°53′07″W / 52.50642°N 1.88524°W / 52.50642; -1.88524 (Aston Hall: Stone vase 2) [9]
Capitals and Heads Council House, Priory Road, Dudley 1935 (1935) Bloye Dudley columns and heads.jpg 52°30′44″N 2°05′03″W / 52.5122°N 2.0841°W / 52.5122; -2.0841 (Dudley Council House: Capitals and Heads) [10]
Dudley from the Wren's Nest Council House, Priory Road, Dudley 1935 (1935) 52°30′44″N 2°05′04″W / 52.5121°N 2.0844°W / 52.5121; -2.0844 (Dudley Council House: 'From the Wren's Nest') Two plaster reliefs, within building - entrance to council chamber and entrance to committee reception room[10]
The Towers Tower Hill, Great Barr 1936 (1936) Bloye The Towers pub sign.jpg 52°32′08″N 1°55′14″W / 52.535574°N 1.92062°W / 52.535574; -1.92062 ('The Towers' pub sign, Great Barr) Bloye was responsible for all the stone carving on this brick building[9]
Royal Oak Lozells c. 1936 (1936) Art deco carving by William Bloye (doorway to the Royal Oak Public House, Lozells, Birmingham, England).jpg 52°30′10″N 1°54′02″W / 52.502687°N 1.900501°W / 52.502687; -1.900501 ('Royal Oak' pub sign, Lozells) Decoration around the doorway of a former pub (now a shop). Formerly brightly painted[9]
St. Nicholas Rescuing the Three Children Was at John Shelton School, Coventry 1936 (1936) Lost after the school was demolished in 1999[11]
Bear and Staff The Bear Inn, Stratford Road, Sparkhill c. 1937 (1937) The Bear, Sparkhill crop.jpg 52°26′54″N 1°51′40″W / 52.448235°N 1.861201°W / 52.448235; -1.861201 ('The Bear' pub sign, Sparkhill) Bas-relief pub sign[9]
Boar's Head Perry Barr c. 1938 (1938) William Bloye - Boars Head.JPG 52°31′45″N 1°53′44″W / 52.529153°N 1.895465°W / 52.529153; -1.895465 ('The Boar's Head' pub sign, Perry Barr) Painted wood pub sign comprising a model boar's head, on a pole.[9] Taken from the arms of the Gough-Calthorpe family of nearby Perry Hall.
Brookvale Pub, sign with putto and grapes Erdington c. 1934 (1934) Brookvale Pub sign - Bloye.jpg 52°30′50″N 1°51′27″W / 52.51399°N 1.85737°W / 52.51399; -1.85737 ('The Brookvale' pub sign) Painted stone pub sign.[9]
Huntsman and Dog, pub sign The Green Man Pub, High Street, Harborne c. 1940 (1940) Huntsman and Dog on the Green Man pub - Bloye - facing right.jpg 52°27′41″N 1°56′35″W / 52.46138°N 1.94301°W / 52.46138; -1.94301 ('Huntsman and Dog' pub sign, The Green Man, Harborne) Painted wooden pub sign.[9]
Library Emblem Yardley Library, Yardley 1938 (1938) Yardley Library doorway Bloye.jpg 52°27′40″N 1°48′58″W / 52.461°N 1.816°W / 52.461; -1.816 (Yardley library emblem)
Apollo fountain Coronation Gardens, Ednam Road, Dudley 1939 (1939) Bloye Apollo statue Dudley.jpg 52°30′46″N 2°05′00″W / 52.51277°N 2.08337°W / 52.51277; -2.08337 (Dudley: Apollo fountain) Sculpture on top of fountain[10] The model was international gymnast and basketball player Fred Starkey.[12]
Queen Victoria Victoria Square 1951 (1951) Victoria Statue in Victoria Square Birmingham.jpg 52°28′47″N 1°54′11″W / 52.479628°N 1.902998°W / 52.479628; -1.902998 (Queen Victoria, Victoria Square) Bronze statue, recast from a marble statue by Thomas Brock[9]/
Josiah Mason Now at the junction of Chester Road & Orphanage Road in Erdington 1952 (1952) Josiah Mason bust - 2011-04-30.jpg 52°31′54″N 1°49′30″W / 52.531556°N 1.825128°W / 52.531556; -1.825128 (Josiah Mason, Erdington roundabout) Bronze bust, recast from a marble statue (subsequently destroyed) by Francis John Williamson of 1885, which stood opposite Mason Science College in Edmund Street[9]
Engineering, bas-relief Mechanical Engineering Building at the University of Birmingham 1954 (1954) Bloye University of Birmingham Mechanical Engineering bas relief.jpg 52°26′57″N 1°56′06″W / 52.44928°N 1.93509°W / 52.44928; -1.93509 (Univ. Birmingham: Mechanical Engineering) [9]
Aesculapius Medical School, University of Birmingham c. 1938 (c. 1938) Aesculapius on University of Birmingham Medical School - Bloye.jpg 52°27′07″N 1°56′17″W / 52.45190°N 1.93813°W / 52.45190; -1.93813 (Univ. Birmingham: Medical School - Aesculapius) [9]
Boulton, Watt and Murdoch Broad Street 1956 (1956) Boulton, Watt and Murdoch.jpg 52°28′43″N 1°54′30″W / 52.4786°N 1.9084°W / 52.4786; -1.9084 (Boulton, Watt and Murdoch - 'The Golden Boys') The Golden Boys[9]
John Skirrow Wright Birmingham Council House 1956 (1956) Skirrow.jpg 52°28′48″N 1°54′10″W / 52.480082°N 1.902760°W / 52.480082; -1.902760 (Birmingham Council House: John Skirrow Wright) Bronze bust cast from a marble statue (subsequently destroyed) by Francis John Williamson[9]
St. Alphege St. Alphege CofE Infants Achool, New Road, Solihull 1959 (1959) Bloye sculpture of St Alphage on Infant School Solihull.jpg 52°24′41″N 1°46′28″W / 52.41148°N 1.77450°W / 52.41148; -1.77450 (St Alphage, infants school, Solihull) Restored in 1994[11]
Mermaid fountain University of Birmingham Guild of Students 1960 (1960) Bloye BUGS mermaid, bronze.jpg 52°26′57″N 1°55′38″W / 52.44927°N 1.927225°W / 52.44927; -1.927225 (Univ. Birmingham: Mermaid fountain) Bronze[9]
Mermaid University of Birmingham Guild of Students 1960 (1960) Bloye BUGS mermaid, stone.jpg 52°26′58″N 1°55′39″W / 52.44951°N 1.92741°W / 52.44951; -1.92741 (Univ. Birmingham: Stone Mermaid) Clipsham stone sculpture, on wall[9]
Decoration The Mermaid (public house), Sparkhill c. 1960 (1960) The Mermaid, Sparkhill.jpg 52°27′25″N 1°52′08″W / 52.456861°N 1.868761°W / 52.456861; -1.868761 ('The Mermaid' pub decoration, Sparkhill) (Bas-relief pub sign attributed to Alan Bridgewater[9])
Bust of Wilfred Byng Kenrick Byng Kenrick Grammar School For Girls 1962 (1962) (unveiled 1963) Bronze. Lost, believed stolen.[9])
Coat of Arms Dental Hospital c. 1973 (1973) Birmingham Dental Hospital Coat of Arms.jpg 52°29′09″N 1°53′42″W / 52.485875°N 1.895101°W / 52.485875; -1.895101 (Birmingham Dental Hospital: Coat of Arms) Fibreglass. Now removed.[9]
Head of Man Royal Birmingham Society of Artists undated Bloye - Head of Man.jpg Plaster[8]
Sermon to the Birds St Francis of Assisi's Church, Bournville 1933 Bournville St Francis William Bloye tympanum.jpg 52°25′44″N 1°56′08″W / 52.42902°N 1.93558°W / 52.42902; -1.93558 (St Francis, Bournville: 'Sermon to the Birds') Oak Wood. Part of Grade II listed building.[9]
Ten panels in ceiling Moseley School (old assembly hall) undated Moseley School ceiling panels 83.jpg 52°26′26″N 1°51′52″W / 52.44066°N 1.86433°W / 52.44066; -1.86433 (Moseley School ceiling panels) Plaster[13] (Full image set at Media related to Moseley School assembly hall ceiling panels at Wikimedia Commons).
Sun and lettering Sun Insurance Building, Bennetts Hill 1927 Bloye sculptures on Sun Insurance building, Bennetts Hill, Birmingham 84.JPG 52°28′48″N 1°54′01″W / 52.47991°N 1.90025°W / 52.47991; -1.90025 (Sun and lettering, Sun Insurance building, Bennetts Hill) Stone bas-relief[9]

Media related to Bloye sculptures on Sun Insurance Building, Bennetts Hill at Wikimedia Commons).

Heraldic sculptures (also Bronze statue of girl in fountain in courtyard) Fountain Court, Steelhouse Lane 1964 Bloye shield on Fountain Court, Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham 1.JPG Bloye shield on Fountain Court, Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham 2.JPG Bloye shield on Fountain Court, Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham 3.JPG Bloye shield on Fountain Court, Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham 4.JPG 52°29′01″N 1°53′42″W / 52.48370°N 1.89494°W / 52.48370; -1.89494 (Shields and girl in fountain) Stone bas-relief. Statue of girl in private courtyard.[9] Media related to Bloye sculptures at Fountain Court Building, Steelhouse Lane at Wikimedia Commons.
Mother and Child, Young Child Playing 90 Lancaster Street, Birmingham c1935 Bloye - Mother and Child.jpg Bloye - Young Child Playing.jpg 52°29′14″N 1°53′37″W / 52.48731°N 1.89370°W / 52.48731; -1.89370 ('Mother and Child', 'Young Child Playing') Stone bas-relief[9]
Maternity Carnegie Welfare Institute, Hunter's Road, Hockley c1923-6 Carnegie Welfare Institure - Sculpture Maternity - Bloye.jpg 52°29′50″N 1°54′55″W / 52.49712°N 1.91522°W / 52.49712; -1.91522 (Carnegie Welfare Institute: 'Maternity') Painted mahogany[9]
The Good Shepherd and Latin Cross Christ Church, Burney Lane, Ward End c1935 Christ Church, Burney Lane, Birmingham - Bloye - The Good Shepherd.jpg Christ Church, Burney Lane, Birmingham - Bloye - Latin Cross.jpg 52°29′23″N 1°49′17″W / 52.48984°N 1.82130°W / 52.48984; -1.82130 (Christ Church, Burney Lane, Ward End: 'The Good Shepherd' and 'Latin Cross') Stone bas-relief[9]
Christ All Saints church, Coneyford Road, Shard End 1951-5 Statue of Christ on All Saints church, Coneyford Road, Shard End, Birmingham - Bloye.jpg 52°29′40″N 1°46′34″W / 52.49454°N 1.77601°W / 52.49454; -1.77601 (All Saints church, Coneyford Road, Shard End: 'Christ') Stone[9]


  1. ^ a b "Life of Birmingham sculptor William Bloye commemorated". City College. 2010-12. Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
  2. ^ "Ornamental Fountain". National Recording Project. Public Monument and Sculpture Association. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "The mystery of the headless statue". Birmingham Newsroom. Birmingham City Council. 2011-01-17. Retrieved 17 January 2011. 
  4. ^ Anon (1930). The Spring Exhibition, 1930 (catalogue). RBSA. 
  5. ^ a b Anon (1948). Royal Birmingham Society of Artists Autumn Exhibition 1948 (catalogue). RBSA. 
  6. ^ Anon (1961). The Second Spring Exhibition, 1961 (catalogue). RBSA. 
  7. ^ RBSA catalogues, 1962 onwards
  8. ^ a b RBSA archives, catalogue number B43
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai Noszlopy, George T. (1998). Public Sculpture of Birmingham including Sutton Coldfield. Public Sculpture of Britain 2. Liverpool University Press. ISBN 0-85323-682-8. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f Noszlopy, George T. (2005). Public Sculpture of Staffordshire and the Black Country. Public Sculpture of Britain 9. Liverpool University Press. ISBN 978-0-85323-999-4. 
  11. ^ a b c Noszlopy, George T. (2003). Public Sculpture of Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull. Public Sculpture of Britain 6. Liverpool University Press. ISBN 0-85323-847-2. 
  12. ^ Anon (2001-04-02). "Former city man tribute". Birmingham Evening Mail.  - via HighBeam Research, subscription needed
  13. ^ The Moseleians Association - Moseley School and the work of William Bloye (1890-1975)