DURHAM AND FRAMWELLGATE
1914/9/235 MARKET PLACE (CENTRE)
10-MAR-88 Statue of Third Marquess of Londonderry
Statue of the Third Marquess of Londonderry, 1858, to the designs of Raffaelle Monti
MATERIALS: copper figure on horseback, on a sandstone plinth and pedestal.
This equestrian statue is set within a paved area at the south end of the Market Place. It comprises a three-stepped sandstone base supporting a high, bow-end sandstone pedestal upon which stands a 4.7m tall copper statue of the Third Marquess of Londonderry, army officer and diplomat; this is an heroic size figure in hussar uniform on a rearing horse. The inscription, incised in capitals on a granite plaque, commemorates Charles William Vane Stewart, 3rd Marquess of Londonderry, Lord Lieutenant of Durham and founder of Seaham Harbour. It reads:
CHARLES WILLIAM VANE STEWART / 3RD MARQUIS OF LONDONDERRY / 1ST EARL VANE AND BARON STEWART / OF STEWARTS COURT K.G.G.C.B. /LORD LIEUTENANT COUNTY OF DURHAM / AND FOUNDER OF SEAHAM HARBOUR / GENERAL IN THE ARMY /BORN MAY 8TH 1778 DIED MARCH 6TH 1854.
A second metal plaque commemorates the restoration of the statue in 1952 reads:
THIS PLAQUE WAS UNVEILED ON / THE 9TH DAY OF APRIL, 1952 BY THE / EIGHTH MARQUESS OF LONDONDERRY / TO COMMEMORATE THE RESTORATION / OF THE STATUE FROM FUNDS RAISED BY / THE CITY COUNCIL SOURCES/
The statue is signed R Monti on the copper base.
HISTORY: the Third Marquess of Londonderry (1778-1854) was born in Dublin and educated at Eton before embarking on a military career. In 1803 he was briefly under-secretary for Ireland and in 1807 served as under-secretary for war. Always a soldier however, he took every opportunity to see action with his regiment the 5th Dragoons (The Royal Irish). After the defeat of Napoleon he became Ambassador in Vienna and played an important role in the Vienna Congress negotiations. In 1819 he married Frances Anne Vane-Tempest and as well as taking the name Vane, acquired large estates in Co Durham and Ireland, to which he later added the Seaham Estate. He subsequently developed the economic potential of his estates, completing the new harbour and docks at Seaham in 1831 to facilitate coal export. By the time of his death his estates were worth £75000 a year with three-quarters of that coming from coal. He acquired a reputation locally as a ruthless colliery owner.
The statue was commissioned by The Third Marquess's widow Lady Frances Anne Vane-Tempest, to honour her husbands service to the county of Durham. By 1858 the memorial committee had received £2000 pounds and recommended a double life size equestrian statue by Milanese sculptor Raffaelle Monti (1818-1881), now resident in London. The statue was cast in c. 1858 and it is considered to be the largest ever piece produced using the electro-plating process. The casting is thought to have been carried out by the London Firm Elkington & Co, who were awarded the first electro-plating patents in 1840, and by the mid-C19 were established as the leading silver and electroplate company in the world. This was a relatively new process in which pure copper was built up on moulds using electro plating which enabled greater detailing to be used.
The statue was unveiled in the Market Place, Durham on 2 December 1861 and those attending included Disraeli and Monti. It is believed that the inscription was added some years later. The statue was restored in London in 1951 and again in 2009-10, after which it was replaced 16m south of its original position in the Market Place.
Harrison, W J, 'Elkington, George Richards (1801-1865).' Rev. Geoffrey Tweedale. In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, edited by Matthew, HCG, and Harrison, B, Oxford: OUP, 2004. Online ed., edited by Lawrence Goldman, . http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/8640 (accessed November 11, 2010)
Lloyd, EM, 'Vane [Stewart], Charles William, third marquess of Londonderry (1778-1854).' Rev. A. J. Heesom. In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, edited by Matthew, HCG, and Harrison, B, Oxford: OUP, 2004. Online ed., edited by Lawrence Goldman, January 2008. http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/26467 (accessed November 11, 2010)
Usherwood, P, et al, Public Sculpture of North East England, (2000) 246-8
Ward-Jackson, P, 'Monti, Raffaelle (1818-1881).' In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online ed., edited by Goldman, L, Oxford: OUP, . http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/64413 (accessed November 11, 2010)
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION:
This equestrian statue of the Third Marquess of Londonderry, designed by Raffaelle Monti in 1858 is designated at grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* Design: Raffaelle Monti was a talented and well respected figure of national renown who demonstrates technical and aesthetic quality in this piece
* Artistic interest: it is a well executed commemorative statue of intrinsic quality which characterises the Victorian interest in greater realism
* Technological innovation: it was cast using the innovative electro-plating process and is also distinguished by being the largest piece ever to be produced using this process. It is thought to have been cast by Elkingtons, whose cheap electro-plating process was the basis for an international industry
* Historic interest: the Third Marquess of Londonderry is a significant national figure whose military and diplomatic career, in addition to his contribution of the north east coal industry, is commemorated by this statue