Out and About 124 - Pedalling after Alfred


By Dave Martin, published 16th January 2015

Alfred in Wantage - Dave Martin takes to his bike to explore statues of Alfred the Great.

Alfred the Great, the name speaks for itself, was a hero to the Victorians so it is no surprise to find that there are three statues commemorating him. The earliest one was erected in 1877 in Wantage, the place of his birth. It was commissioned by Lord Wantage and sculpted from Sicilian marble by Count Gleichen of Hohenlobe, a cousin of Queen Victoria who served in the Royal Navy before retiring and turning to sculpture. He was paid £3,000 for his work. In a continuation of this royal theme the statue was unveiled on 14 July 1877 by the Prince and Princess of Wales in Wantage market place where it stands to this day.

Why did the Victorians view Alfred as a hero? One possible explanation is suggested by historian Barbara Yorke...

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