| Districts | Streets | Maps

Queens Gardens, Newcastle-under-Lyme

 

 
next: the gardens
previous: the 1920's-70's

 

Queens Gardens, Ironmarket, Newcastle-under-Lyme


Nelson Place and the statue of Queen Victoria

 

Unveiling of the Queen Victoria Statue, Nelson Place
Unveiling of the Queen Victoria Statue, Nelson Place
5th November 1903

 

Queen Victoria's statue c.1920's
Queen Victoria's statue c.1920's

Queen Victoria's statue is pictured here in its original position in Nelson Place.
The statue was given to the town in 1903 by Sir Alfred Haslem and was unveiled by the Grand Duke Michael of Russia, to celebrate the coronation of Edward VII.

 

A 1933 postcard with a view of Nelson Place taken from Queen's Gardens.
A 1933 postcard with a view of Nelson Place taken from Queen's Gardens.

In Nelson Place, the Plaza Cinema can be seen in between King Street and Brunswick Street. The building began life in 1788 as the Royal Theatre and was converted into a cinema in 1910. It was originally known as the Newcastle Cinema Theatre, but became the Plaza in 1930. To the right can be seen the swimming baths. The baths were built in 1906 to commemorate the coronation of King Edward VII.

The statue of Queen Victoria occupies the centre of Nelson Place


To make way for road widening in Nelson Place the statue of Queen Victoria was moved to Station Walks in 1963.

Station Walks in 2008
Station Walks in 2008
It was here that the statue of Queen Victoria stood from 1963 to 2001

Queen Victoria in Station Walks
Queen Victoria in Station Walks
- now grade II listed -

The statue was sculpted by Charles Bell Birch - This traditional depiction of Queen Victoria shows her holding the orb in her left hand and the sceptre in her right.
Her crown is decorated with Tudor roses, and there is a Star of India upon her breast. She wears a textured shawl, with lace at her breast and cuffs. Her dress falls over the base of the monument, which stands upon two steps. The sculpture is enclosed by low chain railings linked by short metal posts in black and gold.

 

Front of pedestal, inscribed:
VICTORIA, R I/ BORN AT KENSINGTON PALACE/
24TH MAY 1819/ DIED AT OSBOURNE
22ND FEBRUARY 1901/ BURIED AT WINDSOR/ 2ND FEBRUARY 1901

Rear of pedestal, inscribed:
PRESENTED/ TO THE/ PARLIAMENTARY BOROUGH/
OF NEWCASTLE-UNDER-LYME,
BY/ SIR ALFRED SEALE HASLAM KT. M.P.
MAYOR OF THE BOROUGH/ 1901-2-3
AND UNVEILED BY/ H.I.H. THE GRAND DUKE MICHAEL
 OF RUSSIA/ NOVEMBER 5TH 1903


Statue in the Queens Gardens - 2007
Statue in the Queens Gardens - 2007


Until recently, this much neglected statue was the subject of debate in the Staffordshire paper, The Sentinel. While it stood in Station Walks, it was frequently subject to vandalism, including the theft of the sceptre.
The Newcastle Civic Society pressed for the statue the be restored and moved to the Queen's Gardens. They successfully negotiated a 10,000 millennium grant to achieve this, and it was unveiled in its new location in July 2001 - the Statue was returned close to its original home in Nelson Place.

after moving the following inscription was added on the pavement by steps:
NEW MILLENNIUM/THIS MONUMENT WAS RE-SITED
THROUGH THE EFFORTS OF/NEWCASTLE-UPON-LYME CIVIC SOCIETY
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH/NEWCASTLE-UNDER-LYME BOROUGH COUNCIL
AND SUPPORTED BY LOCAL DONATIONS/JULY 2001

 

In 2004 attempts to restore the statue to its original colour was rejected.
The civic society wanted the borough council to clean up the statue of Queen Victoria in the Queen's Gardens at a cost of 15,000.
Labour councillor John Williams says although she may look a little dull at least it's her "natural" beauty.
 

 
next: the gardens
previous: the 1920's-70's