National Recording Project


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

Allegorical Figures of Science and Literature


Type Coat of Arms , Sculpture , Statue

     Two heroic semi-naked figures recline on either side of the triangular pediment above the main entrance of the library. The style is reminiscent of works by Michelangelo. On the left, a bearded male figure draped in classical robes rests his right hand on a globe and his left on a scroll. On the right, a female figure similarly robed holds a book in her left hand and a pen in her right.The coat of arms for Dudley, which depicts the keep of Dudley Castle, is set on an ornate cartouche with a wreath on each side. At the apex of the building directly above the entrance, a female figure representing Philosophy looks down at the open scroll in her lap.
     After a long correspondence with Alderman John Hughes, Chairman of the Free Library Committee, between 1902 and 1905, Andrew Carnegie donated £7,500 for the erection of the library. A competition was held for the design of the library.(1) There were 23 responses to the invitation to submit designs, but it was won by G.H. Wenyon of Dudley. The library was opened by the Honourable John Hubert Ward, equerry to King Edward VII, on 16 September 1909.
     The bearded figure with the globe and scroll represents Science, while the female figure reclining on the other side of the pediment represents Literature. The female figure personifying Philosophy was sited at the apex of the building to symbolise the idea that philosophy is at the apex of all branches of knowledge.


Between Literature and Science: Public Library

Contributor details

Contributor Role
H H Martyn and Co., None Sculptor
George H. Weynon, None Architect

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Male figure Stone 180cm high x 180cm wide x 100cm deep
Female figure Stone 180cm high x 180cm wide x 100cm deep
Coat of arms Stone 200cm high x 180cm wide x 30cm deep
Female figure (apex) Stone 270cm high x 180cm wide

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
WMduDUjj013 BM
General condition Good
Surface condition
  • Biological growth
Structural condition
  • None
  • None
Road St James Road
Precise location Over the entrance to Dudley Public Library
A-Z ref 55 E3
OS ref SO943904
Date of design None
Year of unveiling 1909
Unveiling details Building officially opened on 16th September 1909
Commissioned by Dudley County Borough
Duty of care Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council
Listing status II
At risk? Not at risk

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