Object Details

Memorial to the Duke of Wellington

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Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright for Photograph:

Creative Commons

Location

Street:Church Street
Town:Brighton
Parish:Brighton
Council:Brighton & Hove City Council
County:East Sussex
Postcode:BN1
Location on Google Map
Object setting:Inside building
and in:Religious
Access is:Public
Location note:Beside the font inside the Parish Church of St. Nicholas of Myra
In the AZ book:East Sussex
Page:162
Grid reference:E7
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.
OS Reference:TQ3104
Previous location:The Lady Chapel, Parish Church of St. Nicholas of Myra (moved 1900)
Previous location:NW corner of the nave, Parish Church of St. Nicholas of Myra (moved 2001)

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Makers

Name : Richard Cromwell Carpenter
     Role:Architect
Name : John Birnie Philip
     Role:Sculptor
Company/Group :Mr. Bushby, Littlehampton
     Role:Builder

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General Information

Construction period:3 June 1853 - 10 March 1854
Installation date:1854
Unveiling date:08/04/1854
Work is:Extant
Owner custodian:Parish Church of St. Nicholas of Myra
Description:The memorial is in the style of an Eleanor Cross. The shape is hexagonal. The pedestal commences with a richly moulded base. On the base of the pedestal rests a plinth, covered with diaper work, surmounted by another moulding, on the broad champher of which is an inscription, in old English characters in brass, each line being represented by an angle of the monument. From the pedestal, and above the inscribed moulding, rise two storeys, richly and elaborately decorated with open tracery work and crocketted pinnacles. These are separated by a pierced parapet; a similar one is on the third or upper storey, which is a solid stone drum, each face of which is also ornamented by sunken and carved panels. There follows a canopied niche with a pierced spire surmounted by a finial. In the niche is an alabaster figure of St. George, sheathing his sword over the dragon which lies slain at his feet, symbolic of the career of the Duke. The drum and everything above it rests on a shaft of dark, polished marble which emerges from the pedestal and around which winds a scroll bearing the names of four of the achievements which mark different era’s in Wellington’s military career. Assaye represents the Duke’s Indian Campaign; Torres Vedras, his successful defence of Portugal; Vittoria, the victory which delivered Spain; and Waterloo, the battle which saved Europe. (Brighton Herald Supplement. 8 April 1854)
Inscription:On a 'ribbon' encircling the bronze central column:
Assaye - Torres Vedras - Vittoria - Waterloo

Brass plates on each side of the memorial inscribed:

In memoriam
haec domus sacrosancta
Maximi Ducis Wellington
qua ipse adolescens
Deum colebat
reaedificatur


(Translation: In memory of the great Duke of Wellington this sacred building in which, in his youth, he worshipped God, is restored.)

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Classification

Categories:Military, Free Standing, Commemorative, Religious
Object type1:Cross
Subject type1:Non-figurative

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Object Parts

Part 1:Memorial and spire
     Material:Stone
     Height (cm):563

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Object Condition

Overall condition:Good
Risk assessment:No known risk
Condition 1 of type:Surface
     Condition 1: Corrosion, deterioration
     More details:Some of the detailed carving on the structure has worn away.
Condition 2 of type:Structural
     Condition 1: Broken or missing parts
     More details:The top of the spire on the cross is missing, this may have been removed deliberately when the memorial was moved in order to accommodate its height.
Date of on-site inspection:17/10/2007

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History

History:The administrative vestry of the church (the equivalent of the present-day Church of England Parochial Church Council) was ideologically opposed to the responsibliity they faced in raising funds for maintaining the fabric of the church. There were frequent disagreements and clashes with the vicar, Rev. H. W. Wagner, and deadlock was often reached over the issue of funding - to such an extent that the church became somewhat dilapidated and some of the windows in the chancel had to be boarded up. The situation was resolved, however, in 1852, when the Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, died. There were historical links between the Duke and both Rev. Wagner and St. Nicholas Church itself: as a child in the 1780s, he studied for a time at an academy in Nile Street (in what is now The Lanes in the city centre) run by Rev. Wagner's grandfather Rev. H. Michell; he attended St. Nicholas Church, which at the time was under the curacy of Rev. Michell, to worship; and his sons were taught by Rev. Wagner himself for eight years from 1818. Rev. Wagner therefore announced that he would start a fund to pay for the rebuilding of the church as a memorial to the Duke, and donated the first £1,000. Nearly £5,000 more was subsequently raised from public subscriptions and donations. The architect Richard Cromwell Carpenter, associated with the architectural aspects of the Cambridge Movement and Tractarianism, was chosen to rebuild St Nicholas Church, after authorisation was granted on 15 April 1853 for demolition and reconstruction. The project was completed quite rapidly, given the size of the building, by Carpenter and the appointed building firm (Bushby's of Littlehampton): the church was reopened on 8 April 1854, about nine months after work started. Work included a new roof; a doubling of the width of the original aisles, and extensions to some of them; a reduction in the size of the chantry; the creation of an organ-chamber and a new east window; the removal of all galleries and original box-pews; and the moving of the font to a position near the south door, which it occupied until the latest move in 2001. A stone cross was installed to commemorate the Duke of Wellington. Carpenter himself died only a year after the project was completed, and a memorial plaque - now lost - was installed in recognition of his life and works. As a result of the reconstruction, which cost £5,769, the capacity of the church was reduced by approximately 30% to around 900, due to the loss of the galleries.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_St._Nicholas,_Brighton_)

‘Restoration and Reopening of the Old Church’
‘The Parish Church of Brighton, dedicated to St. Nicholas, the Patron Saint of Fishermen, and popularly called the “Old Church”, having undergone a complete restoration, is re-opened this day, (Saturday, the 8th of April, 1854,) for Divine Service. The “Old Church” is the only building of any magnitude in the town of Brighton that calls up the memories of its early fortunes, and can be associated with its original race of inhabitants; the fishers of the sea. The visitor may in vain search for any trace of antiquity in any other portion of the town: all is new and modern.’
Plans for the restoration had been made several years previously:
‘These however, remained in a dormant state until the autumn of 1852, when an event occurred which, with no apparent connection with the Old Brighton Church, has been the engine of restoring it to its pristine strength and beauty. This event was the death of the Duke of Wellington. No sooner was that great General laid in the grave than a movement took place in all the great towns of the Empire to commemorate his services by some monument or memorial. In Brighton the lead was taken by the Rev. H.M. Wagner, Vicar, who having invited some of the residents and townspeople to meet together at the Town Hall on the 20th of September 1852, and having taken the chair, stated the fact that, many years ago His Grace the Duke of Wellington was a pupil of his (the Vicar’s) grandfather, the then Vicar of the parish, and that he (the Duke) was wont to worship in the Vicarage pew of their Parish Church.’
Wagner proposed that a subscription fund be set up to pay for the enlargement and restoration of the Parish Church as a suitable and fitting memorial to the Duke. This was carried and a large committee was formed to manage the fund. The subscriptions were started at the meeting and in a short time almost £5000 had been collected. The plans by Richard Cromwell Carpenter that had lain dormant for some time were presented to the Bishop’s Court at Lewes. Permission was granted without opposition and the documents were signed on 26 April 1853. Seven builders tendered for the project and on 14th May 1853, they were examined and Mr. Bushby of Littlehampton, having given the lowest cost of £2986, was selected. On the next day (Sunday), Divine Service was held for the last time before restoration work began. The restoration work took place between 3 June 1853 and 10 March 1854.
(Brighton Herald Supplement. 8 April 1854)

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References

Source 1 :
     Title:'A Handbook for Travellers in Kent and Sussex'
     Type:Book
     Author:Murray, John.
     Page:261
     Publisher:John Murray. London.

Source 2 :
     Title:'The Church of St. Nicholas of Myra: A History with some deviations'
     Type:Book
     Author:Day, A. Frank.
     Page:4
     Publisher:The Church of St. Nicholas of Myra. Brighton.

Source 3 :
     Title:'Notes and Queries'
     Type:Journal
     Page:517
     Publisher:Oxford University Press. London.


Further information:
#http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_St._Nicholas,_Brighton#
#http://www.stnicholasbrighton.org.uk/#

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Photographs





Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons




Author: Anthony McIntosh
Copyright: Creative Commons

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