TA1028 : Public Toilets and a Golden Statue, Market Place, Hull

taken 8 months ago, near to Kingston Upon Hull, Great Britain

Public Toilets and a Golden Statue, Market Place, Hull
Public Toilets and a Golden Statue, Market Place, Hull
Known affectionately as ‘King Billy’, the impressive gilded statue stands adjacent to the Art Nouveau former public toilets in Market Place, Hull. The statue, erected in 1734, is of King William III, William of Orange. Hull was the first large city in Britain to swear their allegiance to the new King when he deposed James II in 1685. This came about as Parliament thought that James was to change the state religion to Catholic and they wanted to remain Protestant.

The statue was paid for by public subscription. It was designed by a Dutchman Peter Scheemaker and depicts King William in Roman Emperor costume astride a horse standing on a stone pedestal. The Inscription reads; "This statue was erected in the year MDCCXXXIV (1734) to the memory of King William Third. Our Great Deliverer." (TA1028 : King William, The Great Deliverer).

The statue was gilded in 1768; in 1880 a plain drinking fountain was added to the plinth below the inscription and in the late 1800's the four lamps were added at the corners of the plinth. In the late-Victorian era some public conveniences were built below the statue. They were very ornate and had glass cisterns. The statue must have looked very impressive before the construction of the toilets and later, the ring road which now runs behind it (see photograph at LinkExternal link Historic England Educational Images).

The statue was the only piece of public art in Hull to be removed to safety for the duration of the Second World War when it was taken to Sancton near Market Weighton. It was reinstated in 1948 (LinkExternal link 150 Facts About Hull). A popular local story about the statue suggests that “when the clock of Holy Trinity strikes midnight King Billy gets off his horse and goes for a drink in the nearby pub. It is also said that when it strikes thirteen the horse also get down for a pint!” LinkExternal link .

The statue of King William III, together with its flanking lamps, is Grade I-listed (List entry Number: 1197697 LinkExternal link Historic England).

For more information, see LinkExternal link (Visit Historic East Yorkshire blog)
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TA1028, 2696 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Monday, 3 July, 2017   (more nearby)
Monday, 10 July, 2017
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  City, Town centre  People, Events 
Camera (from Tags)
Panasonic DMC-G7 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TA 100 284 [100m precision]
WGS84: 53:44.4664N 0:20.0201W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TA 100 285
View Direction
SOUTH (about 180 degrees)
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Image Type (about): geograph 
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