Queen Victoria Memorial, Lancaster

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Queen Victoria Memorial
Queen Victoria Memorial Lancaster South Face.JPG
South aspect
Queen Victoria Memorial, Lancaster is located in Lancaster city centre
Queen Victoria Memorial, Lancaster
Location in Lancaster city centre
Coordinates54°02′52″N 2°47′52″W / 54.0478°N 2.7977°W / 54.0478; -2.7977Coordinates: 54°02′52″N 2°47′52″W / 54.0478°N 2.7977°W / 54.0478; -2.7977
LocationDalton Square, Lancaster, Lancashire
DesignerHerbert Hampton
TypeMonument
MaterialStone and bronze
Opening date1906
Dedicated to"Given to his native town by Lord Ashton"
Listed Building – Grade II*
Designated18 February 1970
Reference no.1290440

The Queen Victoria Memorial in Lancaster, Lancashire, England, is a Grade II* listed building.[1] It stands in the centre of Dalton Square, Lancaster facing Lancaster Town Hall. It was erected in 1906, being commissioned and paid for by James Williamson, 1st Baron Ashton.[2]

The monument was designed by Herbert Hampton (1888–1927) a prolific sculptor and stone carver[3] who also designed the exterior of the Ashton Memorial in Lancaster

Description[edit]

The memorial is of Portland stone with bronze sculpture. A statue of Queen Victoria stands on a tall pedestal facing South, “looking a little pensively over the square,” according to Nikolaus Pevsner.[2]

The pedestal sits on a tall square plinth with rounded corners accompanied by four bronze lions at the ordinal points. Around the plinth is an unbroken bas relief frieze of bronze. At the corners, facing ordinal points, are four figurative sculptures, each depicting an allegory of Freedom (northeast), Truth (southeast), Wisdom (southwest) and Justice (northwest).[2] On the four cardinal faces are near life size likenesses of fifty three prominent British figures from the Victorian era. Of the fifty three persons depicted upon the plinth of the Queen Victoria Monument only two are women: George Eliot and Florence Nightingale. Five of those depicted were born in Lancaster or the surrounding area: William Turner, Edward Frankland, Richard Owen, William Whewell, James Williamson, 1st Baron Ashton.

At the time of construction, of the people featured on the monument, six were still alive: William Turner, Luke Fildes, Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister, William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, Florence Nightingale and James Williamson, 1st Baron Ashton himself, the author of the monument. Amongst the people of Lancaster, the monument is also known as “King Victoria”, because of the shape of the silhouette against the Western sky at dusk.

Gallery[edit]

East Frieze[edit]

The frieze on the east face of the monument depicts thirteen prominent Victorians from the fields of arts and culture. They are, from left to right:

South Frieze[edit]

The frieze on the south face of the monument depicts twelve Victorian politicians and statesmen. They are, from left to right:

West Frieze[edit]

The frieze on the west face of the monument depicts fourteen Victorian scientists and writers. They are, from left to right:

North Frieze[edit]

The North frieze depicts prominent people of Victorian times from a variety of fields, a "mixed bag of Worthies" Nikolaus Pevsner.[2] They are, from left to right:

Silhouette of the memorial viewed from the East

Recent history[edit]

The memorial was given its Grade II* listed building status in 1970.[1] In 2012, English Heritage (now Historic England) declared the monument to be at risk due to its deteriorating condition. “The bronze is corroding (green patina).The stonework suffers from staining and the monument is often subject to graffiti”[4] and it was placed on the "Heritage At Risk" register of that year.[4] In 2014, Lancaster City Council announced its wish to see some restoration to the monument, if suitable funds could be raised publicly or privately.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Historic England. "Queen Victoria Memorial, Lancaster (1290440)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d Pevsner, Nikolaus (2009) [2000]. Lancashire: North: the buildings of England. Yale University Press. p. 381.
  3. ^ Glasgow, University of. "'Herbert Hampton', Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851–1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011". Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  4. ^ a b Heritage, English. "English Heritage "Heritage at risk" register 2012 – The North West P70". Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  5. ^ ""City Council considers its options to spruce up Queen Victoria statue" Friday May 2nd 2014 Virtual Lancaster News blog". Virtual Lancaster. Retrieved 28 September 2014.