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Town Hall, Victoria Square, Queen Victoria Statue Unveiling

Subject ID:
City Centre
Subject Year:
Leeds Library & Information Services
Class number:
N L4 Victoria
Town Hall, Victoria Square, Queen Victoria Statue Unveiling
27th November 1905. A postcard view of the unveiling of the Queen Victoria Memorial on 27th November 1905 in front of a vast crowd by the Lord Mayor, Mr Edwin Woodhouse. A brass band are assembled on the Town Hall steps and rows of policemen hold back the spectators. A memorial committee had been formed in 1901 after the death of the Queen, and a subscription fund was launched, raising nearly £8,000. In 1903 the committee recommended that the scheme proposed by George J. Frampton, A.R.A., for the laying out of Victoria Square should be adopted. This would have entailed raising the level of the square, putting a balustrade round it, and planting trees and shrubs round a statue of the Queen, with broad carriage drives on either side; the Peel and Wellington statues were to have been moved to Park Square. A vista would have been opened up towards the station by the demolition of properties on the opposite side of Park Row, but the cost of buying up the properties led to rejection of the full scheme. Instead Frampton's design for the statue itself was approved. The 30-foot-high monument showed the seated figure of the Queen in bronze, on a Portland Stone base, flanked by bronze figures of 'Peace' and 'Industry'. The photograph also shows the original semi-circular steps in front of the Town Hall, replaced by straight ones in 1937, creating a carriageway as part of the remodelling of the whole square. A stepped terrace was built above what was then Park Lane, and the Victoria Memorial and the statues of Peel and Wellington were removed to Woodhouse Moor in the 1930s.

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