Alfred Drury, architure, Colonel Thomas Walter Harding, Edward The Black Prince, English Heritage, Grade II listed building, Leeds, Leeds Artillery Volunteers, Leeds City Square, nymph, Queens Hotel, scarf, The Black Prince, Thomas Brock, Tower Works Holbeck
I always find that a walk around City Square settles my stomach after the train journey to Leeds and I never tire of the statues that stand in front of the Old Post Office, particularly the nymphs. I noticed that one of the nymph has acquired a scarf since my last visit to Leeds!
The nymphs are the work of Alfred Drury who, a certain on-line encyclopaedia informs me, did some work on the main entrance of the Victoria and Albert Museum, including a statue of the Prince Consort.
Amongst the nymphs stand beside an equine statue of Edward the Black Prince, which was covered in pigeons at the time. The statue was commissioned by Leeds based industrialist Colonel Thomas Walter Harding, who inherited a pin factory which became known as the Tower Works in Holbeck, because of its Italianate chimneys, which can still be seen on the skyline from the train (if you’re coming in from the direction of Wakefield Westgate, as I often do).
Thomas Walter Harding started to style himself The Colonel following his retirement from the local artillery volunteers after 33 years service, when the volunteers made him their Honorary Colonel. Leeds Art Gallery have a portrait of him by Hubert Von Herkomer, when The Colonel was Mayor of Leeds. The Black Prince was work of Thomas Brock, who would go on to create the Imperial Memorial to Queen Victoria, which stands outside Buckingham Palace.
Behind the Black Prince can be seen the Art Deco, Grade II listed, Queens Hotel (English Heritage Building I.D 465900), which opened in 1937. If you arrive in Leeds by train, it will be the first thing you see; you can’t miss it!