There’s no need to wait for a holiday to admire beautiful sculptures, because there’s lots in our own back yard
Here are 7 of Britain’s most famous statues, each with its own unique story and history.
1. Virginia Woolf, Tavistock Square, London
When talking about English literature classics, Virginia Woolf’s name is sure to be brought up. Born in South Kensington, she lived a tumultuous life battling depression, which eventually ended in her committing suicide in 1941. Her work has had a lasting impact on feminism and among her best works – written in a house off Tavistock Square – are Orlando and The Waves, Mrs Dalloway and To The Lighthouse.
2. Greyfriars Bobby, Edinburgh
Towards the end of central street of George IV Bridge and past the national library stands a little statue of a dog called Greyfriars Bobby. The story behind this statue is a bit of tear-jerker: when his owner passed away, this Skye Terrier visited his owner’s grave every night for more than 14 years. He would nip to the restaurant next door (now called Bobby’s bar) and head straight back to watch over his master’s grave. After Bobby’s death in 1872, Baroness Burdett-Coutts commissioned a statue in honour of man’s best friend.
3. Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain (Eros), London
This famous statue – coming up to it’s 125th anniversary – rests upon the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain in Piccadilly Circus, and although is known as Eros, in fact was designed after his brother Anteros. It was first unveiled in 1892-3 in honour of philanthropist Lord Shaftesbury, who fought for child labour and education reforms in the 18th century.
4. Titanic Memorial, Belfast
This memorial is in central Belfast and was erected to commemorate those who lost their lives due to the sinking of RMS Titanic. It was made possible by donations from the public, the victim’s families and shipyard workers, and went on display in 1920. The statue comprises Thanatos, the greek God of death and two mermaids carrying a dead seaman.
5. The Victoria Memorial, The Mall, London
Located in front of Buckingham Palace sits a statue of Queen Victoria, born in 1891 she ruled over the UK for over 63 years before her death in 1901. Epic to behold, it was designed by Sir Thomas Brock and features huge bronze lions, Victoria on the throne and is topped by Winged Victory, propped up by depictions of Courage and Constancy.
6. ‘People Like Us’, Mermaid Quay, Cardiff
Located on Cardiff Bay (formerly known as Tiger Bay) is a statue of a woman of Caribbean descent, a man and a dog. The woman is pointing towards the sea. The statue was erected in honour of all those who came to Wales in the 18th century and represents those who came far and wide to work on the harbour, eventually turning the place into a thriving hub of multiculturalism.
7. Robin Hood, Nottingham
Outside Nottingham Castle’s walls you’ll find a statue of Robin Hood, built in 1952 and unveiled by the Duchess of Portland. Millions of people visit the statue every year, which is based on the old English tale of heroic outlaw Hood who lived in Sherwood Forest.