National Recording Project


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

Bank of England, Architectural Sculpture, The Garden Court


Type Relief , Statue

     Charles Montagu, Earl of Halifax The statue of Halifax stands in the Eastern niche on the North side of the Garden Court. He stands in a symmetrical posture, wearing the costume of his period, including an extremely full wig. His hands hold to open on his breast a scroll with a seal hanging from it. Between his stockinged legs is a cartouche with the Earl's arms upon it. Montagu Norman This statue represents the subject standing, wearing peer's robes. He looks upwards and to his left, his arms folded across his chest. Upon the robe is engraved a peer's coronet, the letters MCN and the dates 1920 and 1944. Between the feet of the subject is a large trophy representing Charles Wheeler's own sculpture of the "Lady of Threadneedle Street", carved in relief in a stylised foliage surround. Ground floor keystones The keystone with a portrait of Charles Wheeler is signed and dated 1932. (The last payment for Garden Court keystones is from 1937). The keystones represent Charles Wheeler himself, holding a hammer, Herbert Baker, with an Ionic capital, olive branches and two singing birds, "to denote love of Country and recreations", The Engineer for the rebuilding, with a wheel, girders and oak branches, George Booth, Chairman of the Bank rebuilding Committee, with a lyre, "a double reference to 'playing the tune' and his musical recreations", and the staff of authority amidst foliage, and A.T.Scott, Herbert Baker's assistant, bespectacled, with compass, set-square and quadrant, his head flanked by two large thistles. Mezzanine keystones (west side) These keystones represent the Chief Builder, his head flanked by stylised cranes, the Foreman , his head flanked by Ionic columns, the Clerk of Works, his head flanked by measuring tape and plummet, and a Craftsman, with hammer and chisels and decorative swags. First floor keystones (south side) These keystones represent Pythagoras, symbolising numbers, "in a mist of numbers", Medusa, symbolising Wiles, Minerva, symbolising wisdom, Jupiter, symbolising Power, Mercury, The Messenger between Earth and Heaven, the Material and the Spiritual, Vulcan, symbolising Mining and Industry, and Ceres, symbolising the Wealth of the Earth. Lions with piles of coins (second floor north side) The lions stand with their bodies facing inwards, but their heads looking outwards. Their bodies are entwined with chains, and with their front paws each one holds up a key. Between them is a pile of coins.


On circular stone base of the statue: 1661 MONTAGU 1715

Contributor details

Contributor Role
Wheeler, Sir Charles Sculptor

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Charles Montagu (statue) Portland Stone 300 (H)
Montagu Norman Portland Stone 300 (H)
Ground Floor Keystones Portland Stone 60 (H)
Mezzanine Keystones Portland Stone 55 (H)
First Floor Keystones (south side) Portland Stone 60 (H)
Lions with pile of coins Portland Stone 120 (H)

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
General condition Good
Surface condition
Structural condition
Road None
Precise location Bank of England - The Garden Court
A-Z ref None
OS ref None

Sorry, we have no precise geographical information for this item.

Date of design 1931-33
Year of unveiling None
Unveiling details None
Commissioned by None
Duty of care None
Listing status Don't know
At risk? No known risk

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