National Recording Project

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

Bear

Summary

Type Sculpture , Marker

     This three-dimensional sculpture of a bear acts as a sign for a public house. The bear stands on all-fours looking down on the viewer from a beam which protrudes from the building's fa├žade.
     The present inn was built on the site of the eighteenth-century Bear in 1882, and was acquired by its present owners in 1935 when Eley's Brewery was closed down. The original bear, which had been used on the Bear inn as a pub sign for more than two hundred years, rotted and finally lost its head, which toppled off and smashed onto the pavement in the summer of 1970. For safety reasons, the rest of it was then removed. A replica of the original was carved by a local man, Kenneth Thompson, and installed in the same position in September 1972.
     The earliest reference to an inn on this site is in 1793, when it was known as The Black Bear. It was also called The White Bear during the nineteenth century before finally becoming the Bear in 1882. The iconography of the bear relates to the Staffordshire family of Beresford who lived in the immediate vicinity during the seventeenth century and whose coat of arms was a black bear rampant.

Contributor details

Contributor Role
unknown, None Sculptor
Wormald, John Architect

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Bear Wood, stained dark brown 60cm high x 40cm wide x 90cm long
supporting beam Wood, stained dark brown 25cm high x 25cm wide x 2.5m long

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
STstSTxx012 BM
General condition Good
Surface condition
  • Bird guano
Structural condition
  • None
Vandalism
  • None
Road Greengate Street
Precise location 7 Greengate Street, on a cantilevered beam at first floor level of The Bear public house
A-Z ref None
OS ref SJ922232
Date of design Before 1793
Year of unveiling 1972
Unveiling details Original seventeenth century; replica 1972
Commissioned by Eley's Brewery, Stafford
Duty of care Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries plc
Listing status Not listed
At risk? Not at risk

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