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Statues

Several statues of sovereigns once adorned the main streets of the city. A statue of Charles II was set up in a niche on the north end of the wheat market house in Southgate Street in 1661 or 1662. (fn. 79)

After the demolition of the market house in the 1780s, it was moved to the garden of a house at Chaxhill, Westbury-on-Severn. (fn. 80)

 In 1960 it was returned to Gloucester, damaged and badly weathered, and was set up in a new housing estate south of St. Mary’s Square. (fn. 81)

In 1686 the Catholic mayor John Hill set up a statue of James II on the conduit by Holy Trinity church, but after the Revolution of 1688 it was broken up and thrown into the Severn by soldiers quartered in the town. (fn. 82)

In 1711 or 1712 a statue of Queen Anne, carved by John Ricketts, was put up near the top of Southgate Street. (fn. 83)

About 1780 it was moved to the grounds of Paddock House, north of the later Pitt Street, and in 1839 to College Green. (fn. 84) In 1865 it was moved to the park at the Spa, (fn. 85) where it remained, much weathered, in 1986.

 A statue of George I in Roman dress, also by Ricketts, was put up in Westgate Street in 1720 and was moved to Eastgate Street near the barley market house in 1766; (fn. 86) its later history has not been traced.

In 1826 the place outside St. Mary’s gateway where Bishop Hooper was burnt at the stake in 1555 was marked by a monument in the form of a small tomb, put up at the cost of J. R. Cleland of Rathgael House, co. Down. (fn. 87)

A more substantial monument, paid for by public subscription, was begun in 1861 and completed in 1863.

Designed by Medland and Maberly, it has an effigy of the bishop by Edward Thornhill (fn. 88) under a crocketed and pinnacled canopy.

 A statue of Robert Raikes, a replica of one on the Thames embankment in London, was set up in the park in 1930 to mark the third golden jubilee of the Sunday School movement. (fn. 89)

From: ‘Gloucester: Public buildings’, A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 4: The City of Gloucester
(1988), pp. 248-51.

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