Woodhouse Moor

North and west of Leeds city centre, Clarendon Road climbs up a hill to Woodhouse Moor, where may be found several Victorian statues. The way almost inevitably leeds past the General Infirmary on St George Street, a red-and-black polychrome range of Gothic buildings by George Gilbert Scott.

The moor is actually a pleasant wooded park, and the several statues are scattered around its periphery. The principal monument is the Victoria Monument, by the estimable George Frampton. The Queen is shown characteristically seated on a tall plinth, with sceptre, but no orb - my half memory is that there originally was one. Certainly at the base of the plinth, only one of the two allegorical figures survives in place, on the left - Peace - a fairly solid female, heavily draped, with crown of olive leaves, ball, and large book open on her lap. Industry was the figure on the other side.

Queen Victoria, and Peace, by Frampton.

By Hyde Park corner, is a statue of Peel, excellent man, by William Behnes. Jauntily posed, in modern dress. By the University, near the corner of University Road, is Marochetti's statue of Wellington, in lounging pose, somewhat haughty, typically with his boots painted red, presumably by local students. Rather more conventional then Marochetti's excellent Black Prince in City Square.

And finally, just across the main road from the park proper, is the weathered stone statue of H. R. Marsden, heavily whiskered but still fairly dignified. On the base, panels, again in weathered stone, showing Education and Industry in the form of a cotton spinner, with a space where there must have been a further frieze. The name of the sculptor is not known to me.

If returning to the town centre via Clarendon Road, at the bottom is Woodhouse Square, where stands a further statue, a bronze of Peter Fairbairn, Mayor of Leeds. Good solid civic work by Matthew Noble, dating from 1868. A blue plaque on a modest building on one side of the square indicates the home of Ellen Heaton, one time patron of the Pre-Raphaelites.

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