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Birmingham's Statues, Sculptures and memorials

Bronze Bull The Bull a twice life size sculpture by Laurence Broderick

The bronze Bull sculpture in the new Bullring Birmingham. is approximately 4.5 metres in length and about 6.5 tonnes, it is one of the largest bronze animal sculptures in the country. The sculpture is sited at the newly created Rotunda Square (still to be named officially) at the junction of New Street and High Street. The design is based on the Hereford Bull with its association and historical links to Birmingham.
> Laurence Broderick

 

The statue of Lord Nelson

The 7ft 6in figure has been in the Bull Ring since 1809 was the first statue of Lord Nelson to be put up in Britain. It was originally protected by a spiked fence traditionally made of the pikes used by British infantrymen in the Napoleonic Wars. But the new Bullring developer the Birmingham Alliance refused to erect the fence because of fears that shoppers might accidentally impale themselves. However in August 2005 the spiked fence was reinstated.

 

Lord Nelson
Boulton, Watt and Murdock

Outside the Register Office on Broad Street stands the statue of Boulton, Watt and Murdock,  It is the work of William Bloye, formerly head of sculpture at Birmingham School of Art and was unveiled in 1956, although preliminary designs were drawn up in 1938.
The larger than life- size figures are in bronze, with a gold finish, on a pedestal of Portland stone and are depicted discussing engine plans. The piece is in a "temporary" position and was originally intended to stand outside a Planetarium, which was never built, but which would have stood outside what is now the Repertory Theatre.

Latest in 2003 news was the statue has now been removed for restoration and will be resited in Centenary Square in place of Forward Sculpture that was destroyed by arsonists. (see below) However in Nov 2005 there is still no return date or site agreed for its return.

 

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South African War Memorial
by Albert Toft 1905

Cannon Hill Park

A Bronze sculpture on a red granite pedestal To the glorious memory of the
SONS OF BIRMINGHAM
who fell in South Africa 1890-1902
and to perpetuate the example of all
who served in the Boer War.
This memorial is erected by their fellow citizens. 


The statue of Joseph Sturge stands in front of the Swallow Hotel at Five Ways. It was unveiled on 4th June 1862.
Joseph Sturge (1793-1859) was one of Birmingham's greatest radicals. A Quaker, he campaigned tirelessly for peace, even visiting St. Petersburg in an attempt to avert the Crimean War. He was also an important member of the movement to obtain universal suffrage, at a time when the vote was limited to only a few (male) citizens. However, it was as a campaigner against slavery for which he is most fondly remembered. His family were much involved with trade in the Caribbean and Sturge knew only too well the continuing injustice of slavery.
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cadburybust.jpg (76428 bytes) George Cadbury 1839-1922
Bronze bust by Francis Wood
The bust looks out from the Meeting House over the village green towards the Cadbury factory. Born at Edgbaston, Birmingham, the son of John Cadbury, tea and coffee merchant in Bull Street, who also made and sold cocoa and chocolate.
George resolved to remove his cocoa works from the crowded streets of Birmingham into the country as this would make for happier and healthier lives for his employees. This was achieved in 1879, when the works moved to Bournville. In 1895, George began the greatest experiment of his life - the Bournville Building Estate - which, by 1900, was to grow into the Bournville  Village Trust. He bought 120 acres of land next to the factory site and houses were designed to fit in with the surroundings with a generous provision for gardens and open space.

Tony Hancock
1924 - 1968 by Bruce Williams, 1996

Priory Circus.

To many people Tony Hancock was probably the best known comedian of the 1960s. From 1951 to 1953 he appeared on radio in Hancock's Half Hour and then from 1956 to 1960 on television with superb scripts written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson. He was born at 42 Southam Road, Hall Green, Birmingham, on 12th May, 1924

This new photo taken 6th January 2003 is a rare glimpse of how it should look. The sun is low down behind the statue shining through the glass beads giving the effect of a 405 line TV picture.

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Photo ? VirtualBrum

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The sculpture was destroyed by vandals setting it ablaze on 17-April-2003 
> more photos

Forward by Raymond Mason

Birmingham's most controversial work of art was unveiled in 1991 in the centre of  Centenary Square.
Cast in polyester resin, it represents the march of Birmingham from its smokey industrial past into the future. Look out for Joseph Chamberlain with his monocle and Josiah Mason, founder of the University, with an armful of books. The Lady of the Arts, from the city's coat of arms, blows a kiss to the past, while an actress curtsies to the Repertory Theatre.
The formula on the shoulder of the leading figure refers to DNA, representing the continuing advance of scientific discovery. The Birmingham trained scientist, Maurice Wilkins, was awarded the Nobel Prize for work on DNA. 


Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof House

Group of Trophies
by William Hollins 1813

This unique and splendid sculpture, fully in the round is set in a niche at the Proof House in Banbury Street. 

>more

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Green Man

Green Man a symbol of life, fertility and creativity,

Dimensions: 12m high
Materials: Steel & GRC

Sculptress Tawny Gray, from Zimbabwe has created this living sculpture standing in front of the gateway to the new ?6 million GreenHouse, arts and media complex, at the Custard Factory in Gibb Street. It is the tallest statue in the City "Live willow and hawthorn will sprout from the Green Man, and water will drop 30 ft down from his raised left arm and the flames will dance on the surface of the water in the pool at his feet." The sculpture was revealed to the public on 21st June 2002
>>www.tawnygray.com

 

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