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Bristol
Bristol

South West England

College Green
(The Great Gatehouse)

Sculptures at The Great Gatehouse

Charles Pibworth & 19th century sculptor
s.d. and 1914

Bristol /  Sculptures at The Great Gatehouse   Bristol /  Sculptures at The Great Gatehouse

Description

The Great Gatehouse, also known as the Abbey Gatehouse, was the gatehouse for St Augustine's Abbey, which was the precursor of Bristol Cathedral. Its earliest parts date back to around 1170.
On both sides are four statues.

Bristol - Sculptures at The Great Gatehouse
North
Bristol - Sculptures at The Great Gatehouse
South

At the restauration of 1887 was written about the statues:

The superstructure of the arch is assigned to Abbots Newland or Nailheart and Ellyot (1481-1526), whose statues occupied two of the niches on the southern side, their arms appearing beneath. On the northern side were the statues of Henry II and Robert Fitzharding. The inscription (apparently of Tudor date) over the crown of the arch on that side is "Rex Henricus secundus et Dominus Robert filius Hardingi, filius Regis Dacioe hujus monasterii primii fundatores extiterunt (King Henry II and Robert son of Harding, who was a son of the King of Denmark, were the first founders of this monastery). The archaeologists, who are strongly represented on the committee, discount the value of this legend by disputing Robert's Danish paternity, and pointing out that at the time of foundation Henry II was only in his ninth year.

It seems that all four statues then were placed on the north side. When in 1914 new statues for the south side were sculpted, the both abbots got also a statue on the south side.

North:
Bristol - Sculptures at The Great Gatehouse
maybe John Newland (elected abbot 1481, d. 1515), wrote the chronicle the Berkeley family.
Bristol - Sculptures at The Great Gatehouse
Robert Fitzharding (c. 10951170)
Anglo-Saxon nobleman from Bristol; merchant and a financier of the future King Henry II of England; founded St. Augustine's Abbey.
(Wikipedia).
Bristol - Sculptures at The Great Gatehouse
Henry II Curtmantle (Le Mans 1133 - Chinon 1189), King of England 1154-1189 (Wikipedia).
Bristol - Sculptures at The Great Gatehouse
Robert Elyot (elected 1515, d. 1526), who built the Tudor building on top of Norman arch, and he is holding a model his work.
South, sculpted by Charles Pibworth, 1914
Bristol - Sculptures at The Great Gatehouse
Edmund Knowle (elected abbot in 1306, d. 1332) commenced the rebuilding of the entire church, and he holds in his hands model of his work.
Bristol - Sculptures at The Great Gatehouse
John Snow (elected 1332, d. 1341), the first mitred Abbot, continued rebuilding the church and was also concerned in obtaining the charter, so he is represented with scroll to which a seal is attached
Bristol - Sculptures at The Great Gatehouse
Robert Elyot (elected 1515, d. 1526), who built the Tudor building on top of Norman arch, and he is holding a model his work.
Bristol - Sculptures at The Great Gatehouse
John Newland (elected abbot 1481, d. 1515) wrote the chronicle the Berkeley family, and his literary work is indicated a book

Sculptors

Sources & Information

Tags

  • Country: Great Britain
  • Abbot
  • Elyot, Robert
  • Façade with statues (church)
  • Fitzharding, Robert
  • Henry II (King of England)
  • Knowle, Edmund
  • Merchant
  • Monarch
  • Newland, John
  • Pibworth, Charles
  • Snow, John
  • Location (N 51°27'5" - W 2°36'6")

    Item Code: gbsw055; Photograph: 21 March 2019
    Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
    If you want to use photos, please contact us via the contact form (in Dutch, English or German).
    © Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt