National Recording Project


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

Sir Rowland Hill (1795-1879)


Type Statue

     This statue of Sir Rowland Hill, stands in contemporary dress holding a roll of 'Queen's Heads' penny postage stamps.(1) On the pedestal is a carved narrative relief showing a postman delivering a letter, and also a caduceus, an attribute of Mercury the messenger of the gods.
     The idea for a statue of Hill came from James Lloyd, a member of the Birmingham banking family, in 1867, the same year a bust of Hill's brother Matthew Davenport Hill had been sculpted by Hollins. After the sum of £1,500 was raised by public subscription, the commission was entrusted to Hollins, who, completing it in 1868. It was originally placed in the Exchange buildings, Stephenson Place, in September 1870, but in 1874 it was removed to the main hall of the newly built head Post Office in Paradise Street.(2) Subsequently placed in 1891 in the new Post Office in New Street, in 1934 it was erected on the forecourt of the Postmen's Office, Edgbaston. Finally, in 1940, the statue was placed in storage for safety where it has remained ever since.
     Sir Rowland Hill (1795-1879) was responsible for the Post-Office Reform in 1937, bringing in pre-paid stamps with the Penny Black in 1840. He received many awards, including the Gold Medal of the Society of Arts and the Freedom of the City of London. He was made secretary to the Post Office in 1854 and was knighted in 1860. On his death he was buried in Westminster Abbey.

Contributor details

Contributor Role
Hollins, Peter Sculptor

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Statue Carrara Marble 1.98m high

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
WMbiBIxx138 BM
General condition Good
Surface condition
  • Other
Structural condition
  • None
  • None
Road Hurst Street
Precise location In store
A-Z ref None
OS ref None

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

Date of design 1867-68
Year of unveiling 1870
Unveiling details September 1870
Commissioned by None
Duty of care Birmingham Ciyt Council
Listing status Not listed
At risk? Not at risk

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