NZ1759 : Column to Liberty, Gibside (detail)

taken 4 years ago, near to Rowlands Gill, Gateshead, Great Britain

Column to Liberty, Gibside (detail)
Column to Liberty, Gibside (detail)
Showing the statue at the top of the column NZ1759 : Column to Liberty, Gibside. The statue, a female figure 12ft high and originally gilt, was carved in a shed high above ground level by Christopher Richardson in 1756-7. The figure holds the staff of maintenance and cap of liberty, a proclamation of George Bowes’ political support of the Whig Party.

Records from the estate provide details concerning the cost of the column, the period of its erection, and the methods employed in rearing it:
"It must be remembered that the mass of masonry from which the figure was cut was erected as a solid block, the figure being carved in its position on the top of the column. Matters must have been pretty well advanced by May 18, 1757, for on the 7th of that month £1 4s. Id. was paid for making a shed for the carver. This shed would be placed at the top of the scaffolding, and would serve to protect the carver from the weather.

An important contract seems to have been completed on August 29. Christopher Richardson was that day paid in full for making the figure the sum of £40, not a very large sum apparently for so important a work of art.

Preparations for completing the work were now in progress, as, on September 7, Joseph Palleser got
£3 lls. 7d. for taking down 'ye carver's shed'. Still more ornamentation had to be paid for, since on September 16 Francis Courtney was paid five guineas on account of 'painting and gilding ye figure.'

The figure holds what appears to be a staff in its hand, with an inverted cup on the top. These are of copper, and cost £8 14s. The last item we note is for 66 books of leaf gold for 'gilding ye figure', £5 15s. 6d.

The total cost was about £2,000, and was all done under the management of the estate workmen and agent,
without contract work."
The Monthly chronicle of North-country lore and legend, Vol. 2, p.466 (1888) LinkExternal link

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NZ1759, 62 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Monday, 8 January, 2018   (more nearby)
Monday, 8 January, 2018
Geographical Context
Lowlands  Historic sites and artefacts  Paths  Country estates  Woodland, Forest 
Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 1794 5913 [10m precision]
WGS84: 54:55.5923N 1:43.2959W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 18018 59088
View Direction
West-northwest (about 292 degrees)
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