Alfred the Great (849-899)
Sir W. Hamo Thornycroft, R. A. (1850-1925)
Bronze, on rough-hewn grey Cornish granite
In September 1901, Winchester, the ancient capital of Wessex, was the focus of celebrations marking the Millenary of King Alfred's death. The high point of the festivities was the unveiling of this huge monument, prominently located in front of the site of the city's old East Gate. Reporting the unveiling, the New York Times described the work as "one of the largest single figures in bronze ever produced in the United Kingdom. From the base to the tip of the upraised arm measures seventeen feet. The sheathed sword is detachable, and somewhat increases the height. All the rest of the statue is in one casting. The statue is placed on a pedestal consisting of two immense blocks of gray Cornish granite, each block weighing no less than four to six tons."
Photograph and text by Jacqueline Banerjee
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