Four figures on Arno's Gateway
The four statues are modern copies of 13th and 14th century originals. They replace the statues of King Edward I and King Edward III (See BR277 and BR278 for details of these) ********Each is set in one of the four deep niches that have tent-like canopies. The triumphal gothick arch was built by the Quaker William Reeve, a copper smelter and owner of Arno's Court, about 1760, (1) and he took the original statues from Bristol city gates that were demolished at that period.(2) The arch is very thin, no more than a screen, and it was at first the entrance to Black Castle's forecourt not being moved to its present site until 1912. (3) At that time it was believed by many to have been one of the city's medieval gates. Now, isolated by traffic islands and road 'improvements' it leads nowhere. Recent - late 1990's - restoration of the gateway, and the new figures, has given the site more dignity.
The two stone statues on the west-side are modern copies of the 14th century originals of Edward I and III from Lawford's Gate in Bristol.(The name remains in Lawford Street) (5) Those on the east-side are 13th century figures from Bristol's Newgate - Robert, the builder of Bristol Castle, and Geoffrey of Constance, builder of the fortified walls of Bristol.(6) The originals of all four were removed due to their deteriorating condition in 1898 (7) and they are now in the St. Nicholas's Church Museum.
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