National Recording Project


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

Statue to King John


Type Other

     A curious bas-relief painted black on a white background adjacent to the door: both are in a recess about one brick length deep. It shows a king with his hawk on his hand mounted on a caprisoned horse within an oval outlined by tree branches.
     A local historian Michael Grundy, wrote a piece in the Evening News suggesting that the image may be of Leofric King of Mercia. King Richard I has also been suggested. The building beside whose door is the sculpture is called Marmion house, possibly a reference to Sir Walter Scott's poem 'Marmion' about an English Knight sent on a mission to King James Iv of Scotland. (Marmion House is post-war). However the statue is actually of King John.
     King John of England (reigned 1199-1216). John was an able administrator interested in law and government. Heavy taxation, disputes with the Church (John was excommunicated by the Pope in 1209) and unsuccessful attempts to recover his French possessions made him unpopular. Many of his barons rebelled and in June 1215 they forced the King to sign a peace treaty accepting their reforms. This treaty, later known as Magna Carta, limited royal powers, defined feudal obligations between the King and the barons, and guaranteed a number of rights. As a peace treaty Magna Carta was a failure and the rebels invited Louis of France to become their king. When John died in 1216 England was in the grip of civil war. (1) John is buried in Worcester Cathedral.

Contributor details

Contributor Role
Lafford, Anita Sculptor
C H Building of Martley, None Builder
Wood, Kendrick and Williams, None Architect

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
King ?plaster painted black 2 x 1.47m
Background painted white None

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
WOwoWOmg010 BM
General condition Good
Surface condition
  • Corrosion, Deterioration
Structural condition
  • None
  • None
Road Copenhagen Street
Precise location Door nearest to High Street on south side
A-Z ref None
OS ref SO849548
Date of design 1965-66
Year of unveiling 1966
Unveiling details None
Commissioned by None
Duty of care None
Listing status Not listed
At risk? Not at risk

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