Object Details

The Diplock Stag

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General Information
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Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright for Photograph:

Creative Commons

Location

Street:Eastbourne Road
Town:Polegate
Parish:Polegate
Council:Eastbourne Borough Council
County:East Sussex
Postcode:BN26 5HB
Location on Google Map
Object setting:Outside building
Access is:Private
Location note:At the top of the drive to Bernhard Baron Cottage Homes
In the AZ book:East Sussex
Page:140
Grid reference:C7
The A-Z books used are A-Z East Sussex and A-Z West Sussex (Editions 1A 2005). Geographers' A-Z Map Company Ltd. Sevenoaks.
Previous location:Possibly Southdown Hall

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Makers

Name : Unknown

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General Information

Commissioned by: ? Caleb Diplock
Work is:Extant
Owner custodian:Bernhard Baron Cottage Homes
Object listing:Not listed
Description:A standing, alert stag atop a rectangular plinth.
Inscription:On a bronze plaque to front of plinth (side overlooking road):

THESE COTTAGE HOMES WERE ERECTED IN 1937
UNDER A TRUST CONTAINED IN THE WILL OF CALEB DIPLOCK
OF POLEGATE WHO DIED ON THE 23RD MARCH 1936
ON THE 21ST JUNE 1944 IT WAS DECEIDED BY THE HOUSE OF LORDS
(AFFIRMING THE DECISION OF THE COURT OF APPEAL)
THAT THIS TRUST WAS VOID FOR UNCERTAINTY IN ITS WORDING
IN SEPTEMBER 1945 THE PROPERTY WAS PURCHASED BY THE
SOCIETY OF FRIENDS (QUAKERS) WITH THE AID OF
CONTRIBUTIONS INCLUDING A SUBSTANTIAL GRANT FROM
THE BERNHARD BARON TRUST IN RECOGNITION OF WHICH
THE DWELLINGS ARE HEREBY RE-NAMED
THE BERNHARD BARON COTTAGE HOMES

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Classification

Categories:Sculptural, Free Standing, Animal
Object type1:Statue
Object type2:Sculpture
Subject type1:Figurative
     Subject subtype1:Standing

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Object Parts

Part 1:Base
     Material:Concrete ?
     Height (cm):14
     Width (cm):136
     Depth (cm):54
Part 2:Statue
     Material:Concrete on metal armature ?
     Height (cm):195
     Width (cm):130
     Depth (cm):40
Part 3:Plinth
     Material:Brick with flint panels
     Height (cm):145
     Width (cm):150
     Depth (cm):67

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Object Condition

Overall condition:Good
Risk assessment:No known risk
Condition 1 of type:Structural
     More details:Recently restored following damage through vehicle impact.
Date of on-site inspection:17/06/2007

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History

History:Bernhard Baron was of French descent but was born in Brest-litovsk in Russia in 1850. At 17 he emigrated to America where he gained experience in the tobacco business and started the manufacture of handmade cigarettes. He invented a machine for making cigarettes with a tobacco leaf cover.

In 1895 he came to England with a greatly refined machine and established the Baron Cigarette Machine Company. He later joined Carreras as a director, working from an old Victorian shop in Wardour Street, London. He set about building Carreras into the international company it became.

He often appeared to have a hard, aggressive manner as a forceful and successful businessman but he had a real and very personal interest in the well being of every one who worked for him.
In 1923 when welfare work in factories was little known he founded a superannuation fund for the workers with a substantial sum of money. In 1929 he opened a convalescent home under his name at Brighton for the workers at Carreras. The Bernhard Baron Trust gave financial help to a number of hospitals and institutions in the 1930s, including a laboratory at The Royal College of Surgeons of England.

The final sentence of part of his speech in opening the convalescent home at Brighton sums up the man:-

''I have nearly three thousand employees and I consider them my children, and anything I can do for them I will do. I have very faithful people and they all work with all their zeal to do the best they can. THERE IS ONLY ONE HAPPINESS IN LIFE, AND THAT IS TO PROTECT OTHERS AND TO GIVE TO OTHERS.''

Diplocks Cottages in Polegate were built in 1936 as a memorial to Caleb Diplock, a wealthy Polegate resident and landowner. The twelve cottages were built for the poor and needy living within three miles of the Parish Church. The Cottages were put up for sale in 1945 following the successful contesting of his Will by distant relatives. With the generous help of the Bernhard Baron Trust, the cottages were purchased and renamed the Bernhard Baron Cottage Homes. Under the Trusteeship of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) the cottages are for those in need, of any religion or political opinion, providing this is not made a nuisance to others. The first Residents were elderly evacuees, who had been made homeless in the 1939-45 war.

The Diplock Stag which is a centre piece at the Homes, has aroused much interest and controversy over the years. One local story is that a local plasterer, whose relatives are still living in the area, made it on its present site when the cottages were built, and they recall seeing him sitting astride its back making the antlers. To substantiate the story they say the stag is on a wire frame.
Those against the story agree on the wire framing but cannot see how one could sit on virtually green (i.e. new) cement work. Another story has some slight variations but is basically that the stag came from Southdown Hall, some say from the garden, some from an archway over the main drive leading from the High Street. An almost identical Stag was placed over a single lofty brick arch at Charbough Park, Dorset in 1841 by Mr Sawbridge Erie Drax. Its also understood that the Stag was used in the design of beer labels for Diplock's brewery. There have been requests in the past for photographs to substantiate these claims but without success. It is known that the Diplocks had ''garden ornaments'' imported from France soon after the house was built and an old gentleman from Polegate remembers being chased away by the gardener at ''The Hall'' for sitting on the stag when he was a boy.
(Source: http://bbch.co.uk/)
Hard archive file:Yes

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References


Further information:
http://bbch.co.uk/

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Photographs





Date: 17/06/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Date: 17/06/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Date: 17/06/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Date: 17/06/2007
Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons

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