National Recording Project

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

Statue of Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

Summary

Type Statue

     Darwin is shown in an easy, yet dignified attitude. He is depicted seated upon an massive ornate arm chair that is decorated with scallop shells. He sits with his legs crossed, a sheaf of papers upon his knees, looking upwards as he marks his place in the papers with a finger. A pile of volumes stands at his feet.The black granite pedestal has moulded cornices and a stepped base with a contrasting stone colour.
     The site for the statue was selected by Montford, who was commission in 1896 after testimonials from Hamo Thornycroft and Onslow Ford. When public subscription did not cover the funds needed for the statue the Shropshire Horticultural Society covered at least £1000 of the sculptor's fees. The statue was unveiled by Rt.Hon. Lord Kenyon, President of the Society.(1) The statue was cleaned and repatinated in 1997 by Eura Conservation Ltd, Telford. The cost was underwritten by the Shropshire Horticultural Society. It was unveiled on 10 August 1997 by the Assistant High Commissioner for Australia, Rosalind McGovern.
     Charles Darwin (1809-1882) was born and educated in Shrewsbury. He studied medicine at Edinburgh University, then went to Cambridge where he studied Biology. In 1831 Darwin boarded the H.M.S. Beagle as the ships naturalist which was on an exploratory circumnavigation of the world, it returned in 1936. Over the next twenty years he worked on the classification of the specimens from his Beagle trip, publishing several of his studies. In 1859 Darwin published his theory of evolution by natural selection in his book 'The Origin of Species'. The consequent debate ensured Darwin's place in history. He continued to work and produced several further papers which expounded on his theory that man descended from apes including The Descent of Man (1871). On his death he was buried in Westminster Abbey.

Inscriptions

On front of pedestal in applied bronze letters: DARWIN On front of metal base of statue at either side, in raised block letters: 1800 1882 On back of metal base of statue, raised black letters: ERECTED BY THE SHROPSHIRE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY 1897

Contributor details

Contributor Role
Montford, Horace Sculptor

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
seated figure bronze 2.6m high approx
pedestal polished granite, black 1.2m high approx
stepped base white Devonshire granite None

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
SAshSRgl006 BM
General condition Good
Surface condition
  • Other
Structural condition
  • Other
Vandalism
  • None
Road Castlegates
Precise location School gardens, in front of main entrance to public library (formerly Shrewsbury School)
A-Z ref 30 B1
OS ref SJ494132
Date of design None
Year of unveiling 1897
Unveiling details 10 August 1897
Commissioned by presented to borough by Shropshire Horticultural Society
Duty of care Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council
Listing status II
At risk? No known risk

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