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North West England

Stanhope Street 27-29 (L8)
(The Angel Vaults public house)

Angel Vaults Heads

artist unknown
mid-19th century

Liverpool /  Angel Vaults Heads   Liverpool /  Angel Vaults Heads


Mid-19th century pub, the Angel Vaults. It is already for a long time closed down. Angel Vaults was one of the almost 350 pubs of Robert Cain & Sons Ltd, brewery in Stanhope Street. Above the windows is a shield with the monogram RC between grapes. Publican from c. 1841 to c. 1871 was William Fields, a mariner from Gloucester, VA.

The building has 13 roundels with eight different heads (7 facing Stanhope street, 6 facing Caryl Street). Five of the Stanhope street heads are identical with five Caryl street heads. Unique are nos. S4 and S7 in Stanhope street and no. C3 in Caryl Street.

Who the persons are was asked at least twice on the internet:
On the YO! Liverpool forum in 2007 petromax asked:

The closed pub at the corner of Caryl and Stanhope Streets has a number of carved plaster faces. Clearly Victoria and Albert (twice) maybe a Nelson or a Wellington. Does anyone know the rest?
No reactions…

In 2017, to his photos of the Angel Vaults plaster heads on Flickr, Brigster wrote:

The facade of an old pub in Caryl Street, most recently called The Angel Vaults. It's not a listed building and looks under imminent threat with all the building going on around it. Looking at it today I was amazed to see the plaster heads between the facade pilasters are all individually crafted. Queen Victoria is the worst one but the others look like good likenesses… of who though? It would be a shame to lose them to a bulldozer. (Usually 12 = disciples but I'd say they are all Victorian worthies of some kind. Brewery Directors?)
On closer inspection I believe two of these are repeated, making ten different faces (plus Victoria). Perhaps they were from factory moulds after all. If not, why the repetitions and two of them look like representations of gods while the other eight look like ordinary blokes… including Max Wall and Roy Hodgson.

Stanhope Street (left to right)

Liverpool - Angel Vaults Heads
S1. (= C1)
Liverpool - Angel Vaults Heads
S2. (=C4)
Liverpool - Angel Vaults Heads
S3. Prince Albert (= C5)
Liverpool - Angel Vaults Heads
S4. Queen Victoria.
Liverpool - Angel Vaults Heads
S5. Duke of Wellington? (= C6).
Liverpool - Angel Vaults Heads
S6. (=C2)
Liverpool - Angel Vaults Heads

Caryl Street (left to right)

Liverpool - Angel Vaults Heads
C1. (= S7)
Liverpool - Angel Vaults Heads
C2. (= S6)
Liverpool - Angel Vaults Heads
Liverpool - Angel Vaults Heads
C4. (=S2)
Liverpool - Angel Vaults Heads
C5. Prince Albert (= S3)
Liverpool - Angel Vaults Heads
C6. Duke of Wellington? (= S2)


Sources & Information


Locatie (N 53°23'34" - W 2°58'50") (Satellite view: Google Maps)

Item Code: gbnw124; Photograph: 19 June 2023
Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
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© Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt

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