National Recording Project

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Detail from: Memorial to 158 Squadron by Peter W. Naylor, 2009

Statue of Dylan Thomas

Summary

Type Statue

     Rough-modelled, slightly elevated seated male figure looking out over marina. Left hand holds arm of chair and right hand rests on knee. The lines on the bronze plaque are from Thomas' poem 'Fern Hill'.
     The statue was financed by Swansea City Council and an anonymous benefactor.
     Dylan Thomas (1914-53) was born in Swansea and attended Swansea Grammar School. He spent fifteen months after leaving school as a junior reporter on the South Wales Daily Post. He moved to London in 1934 with publication of his first volume and a number of single poems. In 1937 he married Caitlin Macnamara and the following year moved to Laugharne, Carmarthenshire. During the Second World War he wrote radio scripts and took part in broadcast talks and readings for the BBC. Between 1946 and 1949 he lived in or near Oxford but returned to Wales, to the Boat House at Laugharne in May 1949. His growing reputation in the USA led to frequent lecture tours in the following years. He died in New York in November 1953 and his body was brought back for burial in the churchyard at Laugharne. A memorial stone was placed in Poets' Corner at Westminster Abbey in 1982. For further details see the entry on Thomas in 'The New Companion to the Literature of Wales' edited by Meic Stephens.

Inscriptions

Inscription in raised letters on bronze plaque fixed to front top of plinth: THOUGH I SANG IN MY CHAINS / LIKE THE SEA / DYLAN THOMAS / 1914-1953 / SCULPTOR JOHN DOUBLEDAY

Related works : A stone carved by Ronald Cour, quoting the same lines, was installed in Cwmdonkin Park in 1963 by the poet Vernon Watkins, Thomas's lifelong friend. See also CARMARTH017: Bust of Dylan Thomas at Laugharne, Carmarthenshire.

Contributor details

Contributor Role
Doubleday, John Sculptor

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Statue Bronze 122cm high approx (figure seated)
Plinth Granite 70cm high x 92cm wide x 150cm deep

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
SWANSEA003 AH
General condition Good
Surface condition
  • No damage
Structural condition
  • Other
Vandalism
  • None
Road Dylan Thomas Square, South Dock Marina
Precise location In tiled concourse overlooking marina
A-Z ref None
OS ref SS657926
Date of design None
Year of unveiling 1984
Unveiling details Unveiled by Lady Mary Wilson on 21st March 1984
Commissioned by Swansea City Council
Duty of care City & County of Swansea
Listing status Not listed
At risk? No known risk

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