Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is a large Gothic abbey church in the City of Westminster, England, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the United Kingdom's most notable religious buildings and the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English and British monarchs; the building itself was a Benedictine monastic church until the monastery was dissolved in 1539. Between 1540 and 1556, the abbey had the status of a cathedral. Since 1560, the building is no longer an abbey or a cathedral, having instead the status of a Church of England "Royal Peculiar"—a church responsible directly to the sovereign. According to a tradition first reported by Sulcard in about 1080, a church was founded at the site in the seventh century, at the time of Mellitus, a Bishop of London. Construction of the present church began in 1245, on the orders of King Henry III. Since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066, all coronations of English and British monarchs have been in Westminster Abbey.
There have been 16 royal weddings at the abbey since 1100. As the burial site of more than 3,300 persons of predominant prominence in British history, Westminster Abbey is sometimes described as'Britain's Valhalla', after the iconic burial hall of Norse mythology. A late tradition claims that Aldrich, a young fisherman on the River Thames, had a vision of Saint Peter near the site; this seems to have been quoted as the origin of the salmon that Thames fishermen offered to the abbey in years – a custom still observed annually by the Fishmongers' Company. The recorded origins of the Abbey date to the 960s or early 970s, when Saint Dunstan and King Edgar installed a community of Benedictine monks on the site. Between 1042 and 1052, King Edward the Confessor began rebuilding St Peter's Abbey to provide himself with a royal burial church, it was the first church in England built in the Romanesque style. The building was completed around 1060 and was consecrated on 28 December 1065, only a week before Edward's death on 5 January 1066.
A week he was buried in the church. His successor, Harold II, was crowned in the abbey, although the first documented coronation is that of William the Conqueror the same year; the only extant depiction of Edward's abbey, together with the adjacent Palace of Westminster, is in the Bayeux Tapestry. Some of the lower parts of the monastic dormitory, an extension of the South Transept, survive in the Norman Undercroft of the Great School, including a door said to come from the previous Saxon abbey. Increased endowments supported a community increased from a dozen monks in Dunstan's original foundation, up to a maximum about eighty monks; the abbot and monks, in proximity to the royal Palace of Westminster, the seat of government from the 13th century, became a powerful force in the centuries after the Norman Conquest. The Abbot of Westminster was employed on royal service and in due course took his place in the House of Lords as of right. Released from the burdens of spiritual leadership, which passed to the reformed Cluniac movement after the mid-10th century, occupied with the administration of great landed properties, some of which lay far from Westminster, "the Benedictines achieved a remarkable degree of identification with the secular life of their times, with upper-class life", Barbara Harvey concludes, to the extent that her depiction of daily life provides a wider view of the concerns of the English gentry in the High and Late Middle Ages.
The proximity of the Palace of Westminster did not extend to providing monks or abbots with high royal connections. The abbot remained Lord of the Manor of Westminster as a town of two to three thousand persons grew around it: as a consumer and employer on a grand scale the monastery helped fuel the town economy, relations with the town remained unusually cordial, but no enfranchising charter was issued during the Middle Ages; the abbey became the coronation site of Norman kings. None were buried there until Henry III, intensely devoted to the cult of the Confessor, rebuilt the abbey in Anglo-French Gothic style as a shrine to venerate King Edward the Confessor and as a suitably regal setting for Henry's own tomb, under the highest Gothic nave in England; the Confessor's shrine subsequently played a great part in his canonization. Construction of the present church began in 1245 by Henry III; the first building stage included the entire eastern end, the transepts, the easternmost bay of the nave.
The Lady Chapel built from around 1220 at the extreme eastern end was incorporated into the chevet of the new building, but was replaced. This work must have been completed by 1258-60, when the second stage was begun; this carried the nave on an additional five bays. Here construction stopped in about 1269, a consecration ceremony being held on 13 October of that year, because of Henry's death did not resume; the old Romanesque nave remained attached to the new building for over a century, until it was pulled down in the late 14th century and rebuilt from 1376 following the original design. Construction was finished by the architect Henry Yevele in the reign of Richard II. Henry III commissioned the unique Cosmati pavement in front of the High Altar (the pavement has undergone a major cleani
Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. It is one of the plastic arts. Durable sculptural processes used carving and modelling, in stone, ceramics and other materials but, since Modernism, there has been an complete freedom of materials and process. A wide variety of materials may be worked by removal such as carving, assembled by welding or modelling, or molded or cast. Sculpture in stone survives far better than works of art in perishable materials, represents the majority of the surviving works from ancient cultures, though conversely traditions of sculpture in wood may have vanished entirely. However, most ancient sculpture was brightly painted, this has been lost. Sculpture has been central in religious devotion in many cultures, until recent centuries large sculptures, too expensive for private individuals to create, were an expression of religion or politics; those cultures whose sculptures have survived in quantities include the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean and China, as well as many in Central and South America and Africa.
The Western tradition of sculpture began in ancient Greece, Greece is seen as producing great masterpieces in the classical period. During the Middle Ages, Gothic sculpture represented the agonies and passions of the Christian faith; the revival of classical models in the Renaissance produced famous sculptures such as Michelangelo's David. Modernist sculpture moved away from traditional processes and the emphasis on the depiction of the human body, with the making of constructed sculpture, the presentation of found objects as finished art works. A basic distinction is between sculpture in the round, free-standing sculpture, such as statues, not attached to any other surface, the various types of relief, which are at least attached to a background surface. Relief is classified by the degree of projection from the wall into low or bas-relief, high relief, sometimes an intermediate mid-relief. Sunk-relief is a technique restricted to ancient Egypt. Relief is the usual sculptural medium for large figure groups and narrative subjects, which are difficult to accomplish in the round, is the typical technique used both for architectural sculpture, attached to buildings, for small-scale sculpture decorating other objects, as in much pottery and jewellery.
Relief sculpture may decorate steles, upright slabs of stone also containing inscriptions. Another basic distinction is between subtractive carving techniques, which remove material from an existing block or lump, for example of stone or wood, modelling techniques which shape or build up the work from the material. Techniques such as casting and moulding use an intermediate matrix containing the design to produce the work; the term "sculpture" is used to describe large works, which are sometimes called monumental sculpture, meaning either or both of sculpture, large, or, attached to a building. But the term properly covers many types of small works in three dimensions using the same techniques, including coins and medals, hardstone carvings, a term for small carvings in stone that can take detailed work; the large or "colossal" statue has had an enduring appeal since antiquity. Another grand form of portrait sculpture is the equestrian statue of a rider on horse, which has become rare in recent decades.
The smallest forms of life-size portrait sculpture are the "head", showing just that, or the bust, a representation of a person from the chest up. Small forms of sculpture include the figurine a statue, no more than 18 inches tall, for reliefs the plaquette, medal or coin. Modern and contemporary art have added a number of non-traditional forms of sculpture, including sound sculpture, light sculpture, environmental art, environmental sculpture, street art sculpture, kinetic sculpture, land art, site-specific art. Sculpture is an important form of public art. A collection of sculpture in a garden setting can be called a sculpture garden. One of the most common purposes of sculpture is in some form of association with religion. Cult images are common in many cultures, though they are not the colossal statues of deities which characterized ancient Greek art, like the Statue of Zeus at Olympia; the actual cult images in the innermost sanctuaries of Egyptian temples, of which none have survived, were evidently rather small in the largest temples.
The same is true in Hinduism, where the simple and ancient form of the lingam is the most common. Buddhism brought the sculpture of religious figures to East Asia, where there seems to have been no earlier equivalent tradition, though again simple shapes like the bi and cong had religious significance. Small sculptures as personal possessions go back to the earliest prehistoric art, the use of large sculpture as public art to impress the viewer with the power of a ruler, goes back at least to the Great Sphinx of some 4,500 years ago. In archaeology and art history the appearance, sometimes disappearance, of large or monumental sculpture in a culture is regarded as of great significance, though tracing the emergence is complicated by the presumed existence of sculpture in wood and other perishable materials of which no record remains; the ability to s
Funerary art is any work of art forming, or placed in, a repository for the remains of the dead. The term encompasses a wide variety of forms, including cenotaphs, tomb-like monuments which do not contain human remains, communal memorials to the dead, such as war memorials, which may or may not contain remains, a range of prehistoric megalithic constructs. Funerary art may serve many cultural functions, it can play a role in burial rites, serve as an article for use by the dead in the afterlife, celebrate the life and accomplishments of the dead, whether as part of kinship-centred practices of ancestor veneration or as a publicly directed dynastic display. It can function as a reminder of the mortality of humankind, as an expression of cultural values and roles, help to propitiate the spirits of the dead, maintaining their benevolence and preventing their unwelcome intrusion into the lives of the living; the deposit of objects with an apparent aesthetic intention is found in all cultures—Hindu culture, which has little, is a notable exception.
Many of the best-known artistic creations of past cultures—from the Egyptian pyramids and the Tutankhamun treasure, to the Terracotta Army surrounding the tomb of the Qin Emperor, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, the Sutton Hoo ship burial and the Taj Mahal—are tombs or objects found in and around them. In most instances, specialized funeral art was produced for the powerful and wealthy, although the burials of ordinary people might include simple monuments and grave goods from their possessions. An important factor in the development of traditions of funerary art is the division between what was intended to be visible to visitors or the public after completion of the funeral ceremonies; the treasure of the 18th dynasty Pharaoh Tutankhamun, for example, though exceptionally lavish, was never intended to be seen again after it was deposited, while the exterior of the pyramids was a permanent and effective demonstration of the power of their creators. A similar division can be seen in grand East Asian tombs.
In other cultures, nearly all the art connected with the burial, except for limited grave goods, was intended for viewing by the public or at least those admitted by the custodians. In these cultures, traditions such as the sculpted sarcophagus and tomb monument of the Greek and Roman empires, the Christian world, have flourished; the mausoleum intended for visiting was the grandest type of tomb in the classical world, common in Islamic culture. Tomb is a general term for any repository for human remains, while grave goods are other objects which have been placed within the tomb; such objects may include the personal possessions of the deceased, objects specially created for the burial, or miniature versions of things believed to be needed in an afterlife. Knowledge of many non-literate cultures is drawn from these sources. A tumulus, kurgan, or long barrow covered important burials in many cultures, the body may be placed in a sarcophagus of stone, or a coffin of wood. A mausoleum is a building erected as a tomb, taking its name from the Mausoleum of Mausolus at Halicarnassus.
Stele is a term for erect stones that are what are now called gravestones. Ship burials are found in coastal Europe, while chariot burials are found across Eurasia. Catacombs, of which the most famous examples are those in Rome and Alexandria, are underground cemeteries connected by tunnelled passages. A large group of burials with traces remaining above ground can be called a necropolis. A cenotaph is a memorial without a burial; the word "funerary" means "of or pertaining to a funeral or burial", but there is a long tradition in English of applying it not only to the practices and artefacts directly associated with funeral rites, but to a wider range of more permanent memorials to the dead. Influential in this regard was John Weever's Ancient Funerall Monuments, the first full-length book to be dedicated to the subject of tomb memorials and epitaphs. More some scholars have challenged the usage: Phillip Lindley, for example, makes a point of referring to "tomb monuments", saying "I have avoided using the term'funeral monuments' because funeral effigies were, in the Middle Ages, temporary products, made as substitutes for the encoffined corpse for use during the funeral ceremonies".
Others, have found this distinction "rather pedantic". Related genres of commemorative art for the dead take many forms, such as the moai figures of Easter Island a type of sculpted ancestor portrait, though hardly individualized; these are common in cultures as diverse as Ancient Rome and China, in both of which they are kept in the houses of the descendants, rather than being buried. Many cultures have psychopomp figures, such as the Greek Hermes and Etruscan Charun, who help conduct the spirits of the dead into the afterlife. Most of humanity's oldest known archaeological constructions are tombs. Megalithic, the earliest instances date to within a few centuries of each other, yet show a wide diversity of form and purpose. Tombs in the Iberian peninsula have been dated through thermoluminescence to c. 4510 BCE, some burials at the Carnac stones in Brittany date back to the fifth millennium BCE. The commemorative value of such burial sites are indicated by the fact that, at some stage, they became elevated, that the constructs from the earliest, sought to be monumental.
This effect was achieved by encapsulating a single corpse in a basic pit, surrounded by an elaborate ditch and drain. Over-ground commemoration is thought to be tied to the concept of collective memory, the
Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum in London is the world's largest museum of applied and decorative arts and design, as well as sculpture, housing a permanent collection of over 2.27 million objects. It was named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert; the V&A is located in the Brompton district of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, in an area that has become known as "Albertopolis" because of its association with Prince Albert, the Albert Memorial and the major cultural institutions with which he was associated. These include the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, the Royal Albert Hall and Imperial College London; the museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture and Sport. As with other national British museums, entrance is free; the V&A covers 145 galleries. Its collection spans 5,000 years of art, from ancient times to the present day, from the cultures of Europe, North America and North Africa. However, the art of antiquity in most areas is not collected.
The holdings of ceramics, textiles, silver, jewellery, medieval objects, sculpture and printmaking, drawings and photographs are among the largest and most comprehensive in the world. The museum owns the world's largest collection of post-classical sculpture, with the holdings of Italian Renaissance items being the largest outside Italy; the departments of Asia include art from South Asia, Japan and the Islamic world. The East Asian collections are among the best in Europe, with particular strengths in ceramics and metalwork, while the Islamic collection is amongst the largest in the Western world. Overall, it is one of the largest museums in the world. Since 2001 the museum has embarked on a major £150m renovation programme. New 17th- and 18th-century European galleries were opened on 9 December 2015; these restored the original Aston Webb interiors and host the European collections 1600–1815. The V&A Museum of Childhood in East London is a branch of the museum, a new branch in London is being planned.
The Victoria and Albert Museum has its origins in the Great Exhibition of 1851, with which Henry Cole, the museum's first director, was involved in planning. It was known as the Museum of Manufactures, first opening in May 1852 at Marlborough House, but by September had been transferred to Somerset House. At this stage the collections covered both applied science. Several of the exhibits from the Exhibition were purchased to form the nucleus of the collection. By February 1854 discussions were underway to transfer the museum to the current site and it was renamed South Kensington Museum. In 1855 the German architect Gottfried Semper, at the request of Cole, produced a design for the museum, but it was rejected by the Board of Trade as too expensive; the site was occupied by Brompton Park House. The official opening by Queen Victoria was on 20 June 1857. In the following year, late night openings were introduced, made possible by the use of gas lighting; this was to enable in the words of Cole "to ascertain what hours are most convenient to the working classes"—this was linked to the use of the collections of both applied art and science as educational resources to help boost productive industry.
In these early years the practical use of the collection was much emphasised as opposed to that of "High Art" at the National Gallery and scholarship at the British Museum. George Wallis, the first Keeper of Fine Art Collection, passionately promoted the idea of wide art education through the museum collections; this led to the transfer to the museum of the School of Design, founded in 1837 at Somerset House. From the 1860s to the 1880s the scientific collections had been moved from the main museum site to various improvised galleries to the west of Exhibition Road. In 1893 the "Science Museum" had come into existence when a separate director was appointed; the laying of the foundation stone of the Aston Webb building on 17 May 1899 was the last official public appearance by Queen Victoria. It was during this ceremony that the change of name from the South Kensington Museum to the Victoria and Albert Museum was made public. Queen Victoria's address during the ceremony, as recorded in The London Gazette, ended: "I trust that it will remain for ages a Monument of discerning Liberality and a Source of Refinement and Progress."The exhibition which the museum organised to celebrate the centennial of the 1899 renaming, "A Grand Design", first toured in North America from 1997, returning to London in 1999.
To accompany and support the exhibition, the museum published a book, Grand Design, which it has made available for reading online on its website. The opening ceremony for the Aston Webb building by King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra took place on 26 June 1909. In 1914 the construction commenced of the Science Museum, signalling the final split of the science and art collections. In 1939 on the outbreak of World War II, most of the collection was sent to a quarry in Wiltshire, to Montacute House in Somerset, or to a tunnel near Aldwych tube station, with larger items remaining in situ, sand-bagged and bricked in. Between 1941 and 1944 some galleries were used as a school for chil
Field Marshal George Wade was a British Army officer who served in the Nine Years' War, War of the Spanish Succession, Jacobite rising of 1715 and War of the Quadruple Alliance before leading the construction of barracks and proper roads in Scotland. He went on to be a military commander during the War of the Austrian Succession and Commander-in-Chief of the Forces during the Jacobite rising of 1745. Born the son of Jerome Wade in Killavally, Westmeath in Ireland, Wade was commissioned into the Earl of Bath's Regiment on 26 December 1690 and served in Flanders in 1692, fighting at the Battle of Steenkerque in August 1692 during the Nine Years' War and earning a promotion to lieutenant on 10 February 1693, he transferred to Sir Bevil Granville's Regiment on 19 April 1694 and was promoted to captain on 13 June 1695. During the War of the Spanish Succession he first served under Marlborough, seeing action in Flanders at the Battle of Kaiserwerth in April 1702, the Battle of Venlo in September 1702, the Battle of Roermond in October 1702 and Battle of Liège in October 1702.
He was promoted to major on 20 March 1703 and to lieutenant colonel in October 1703. In 1704 he joined the staff of Henri de Massue, Earl of Galway as adjutant-general in Portugal, distinguished himself as colonel of the Huntingdon's Regiment during the Battle of Alcántara during which he was wounded in April 1706, he repelled a large force of cavalry at Vila Nova and commanded the 3rd infantry brigade during the Battle of Almansa in April 1707. He won promotion to brigadier general on 1 January 1708, he served as second-in-command to James Stanhope in Menorca in 1708, leading one of the storming parties on Fort St. Philip, before returning to Spain in 1710, where he fought at the Battle of Saragossa in August 1710, he was promoted to major-general on 3 October 1714 and became commander of the British forces in Ireland in November 1714. Wade returned home to join in the suppression of the Jacobite rising of 1715 and undertook security duties in Bath, where he unearthed a haul of Jacobite weapons.
He entered politics as MP for Hindon in 1715. On 19 March 1717 he became colonel of the Earl of Plymouth's Regiment of Horse. In 1719 he served as second in command to Viscount Cobham during the War of the Quadruple Alliance when Cobham led a force of 4,000 troops on a raid on the Spanish coastline which captured Vigo and occupied it for ten days before withdrawing, he became MP for Bath in 1722. His house next to Bath Abbey is now a Grade I listed building; the government of George I sent Wade to inspect Scotland in 1724. He recommended the construction of barracks and proper roads to assist in the control of the country. On 10 May 1725 he was appointed Commander in Chief of His Majesty's forces, castles and barracks in North Britain, tasked with carrying out his own recommendations. Over the next twelve years Wade directed the construction of some 240 miles of roads, plus 30 bridges. General Wade's military roads linked the garrisons at Ruthven, Fort George, Fort Augustus, Fort William. A reference in verse is said to be inscribed on a stone at the start of one of his military roads in Scotland: Wade organised a militia named "Highland Watches", calling on members of the landed gentry to sign up and raising the first six companies in 1725.
In 1725, Wade put down an insurrection after the government attempted to extend the "malt tax" to Scotland and enraged citizens in Glasgow drove out the military and destroyed the home of their representative in Parliament. He was promoted to lieutenant general on 15 April 1727. On 1 June 1732 he became Governor of Berwick upon Tweed and on 19 June 1733 he became Governor of Fort William, Fort George and Fort Augustus, he was promoted to general of horse on 17 July 1739. He raised four more "Highland Watch" companies in 1739, he still had the time to sign his support to the Foundling Hospital, established in 1739 in London. On 22 June 1742 he was appointed Lieutenant-General of the Ordnance and on 24 June 1742 he was appointed a member of the Privy Council. On 17 December 1743 he became a field marshal with his appointment to the joint command of the Anglo-Austrian force in Flanders against the French in the War of the Austrian Succession. Wade organised an advance towards Lille in July 1744 but the action became stalled in the face of logistical problems.
He resigned from his command in March 1745, returning home to become Commander-in-Chief of the Forces. In October 1745 during the Jacobite rising Wade concentrated his troops in Newcastle upon Tyne on the east coast of England. In freezing conditions and with his men starving, he failed to counter their march into England or their subsequent retreat back from Derby to Scotland, it was because of the difficulties Wade encountered marching his troops cross-country from Newcastle to Carlisle, that he built his Military Road west of Newcastle in 1746, entailing such destruction of Hadrian's Wall. Wade helped plan the road, but had died before construction began in 1751, his Military Road is still in use today as the B6318. Wade received mention in a verse sung as part of God Save the King around 1745: Wade died, unmarried, on 14 March 1748 and is buri
Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset
Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset, known by the epithet "The Proud Duke", was a British peer. He rebuilt Petworth House in Sussex, the ancient Percy seat inherited from his wife, in the palatial form which survives today. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, he was a remarkably handsome man, inordinately fond of taking a conspicuous part in court ceremonial. Charles was the second son of Charles Seymour, 2nd Baron Seymour of Trowbridge, of Marlborough Castle in Wiltshire, by his wife Elizabeth Alington; the 2nd baron was a great-great-grandson of Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, brother of Queen Jane Seymour, uncle of King Edward VI and Lord Protector of England. Charles was educated at Harrow School and Trinity College, where his portrait by Nathaniel Dance-Holland survives in the College's collection. In 1675, Charles's elder brother Francis Seymour, 5th Duke of Somerset, aged 16, inherited the Dukedom of Somerset from their father's childless first cousin, John Seymour, 4th Duke of Somerset.
However, the 5th Duke did not inherit the unentailed Seymour estates, including the family seat of Wulfhall and other Wiltshire estates, much of the lands of the feudal barony of Hatch Beauchamp in Somerset, which were bequeathed to the 4th duke's niece, Elizabeth Seymour, wife of Thomas Bruce, 2nd Earl of Ailesbury. In 1660, following the Restoration of the Monarchy, the 4th duke's own father, a Royalist commander in the Civil War, had been restored to the dukedom created for and forfeited by his own great-grandfather, Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset. Three years in 1678, Charles's brother, the 5th duke, was murdered in Italy, aged 20, unmarried and without progeny, having been shot at the door of his inn at Lerice; the 16-year-old Charles Seymour became the 4th Baron Seymour of Trowbridge. In 1682, at the age of 20 he married a great heiress, the 15-year-old Lady Elizabeth Percy and sole heiress of Joceline Percy, 11th Earl of Northumberland, who brought him immense estates, including Alnwick Castle, Northumberland.
It had been agreed in the marriage settlement, although both parties to the marriage were minors, thus incapable of being bound by a contract, that: "... for the preservation of the noble family and name of the Percys, he the said duke and all and every the issue of his body on her the said duchess begotten, should forever take upon him and them and be called and named only by the name and surname of Percy". However, on attaining her majority of 21 the duchess under her hand and seal dated 30 January 1687 consented to waive and dispense with the agreement; the intention stated in the marriage contract was however fulfilled in 1749 by their granddaughter Lady Elizabeth Seymour and her husband the former Sir Hugh Smithson, 4th Baronet when in 1749 they obtained a private Act of Parliament entitled: "An Act to enable Hugh Earl of Northumberland and Elizabeth Countess of Northumberland and Barones Percy, his Wife, their Children and Issue, to take and use the Name of Percy, bear and quarter the Arms of the Percies Earls of Northumberland".
The reason for the name-change was stated in the preamble to the Act as follows: "And as Algernon, late Duke of Somerset, did in his lifetime express his desire that the name of Percy should be used by and be the surname and family name of the Earls of Northumberland... Sir Hugh Smithson now Earl of Northumberland and Lady Elizabeth his wife, Countess of Northumberland and Baroness Percy, as well out of their great regard to, in compliance with the desire of, the said late duke, as for preserving the noble and ancient family and name of Percy and the coats of arms borne and quartered by the Percys Earls of Northumberland should be... confirmed... upon them... by authority of Parliament". Between 1688 and 1696 the Duke rebuilt Petworth House on a palatial scale. A painting made in about 1700 of his new house was identified by the art historian Sir Anthony Blunt in the collection of the Duke of Rutland at Belvoir Castle, it shows evidence of a French chateau style, with original central dome, now lost.
A similar image is included in Laguerre's wall-painting on the Grand Staircase at Petworth. Horace Walpole called it "in the style of the Tuileries"; the parapets of the walls are surmounted by urns. On the three sections of the parapet in front of the central dome and the domed roofs of the two projecting wings are placed gesticulating statues. Today the roofline is lower and flat, giving the building a plain appearance following the fire of 1714 and subsequent repairs; the statues and urns are now lost and the entrance front has been moved to the rear. One of the few elements of the old mansion he retained is the mediaeval chapel, which retains the large early 17th century Percy Window, depicting the coats of arms of several Percy Earls of Northumberland. In 1683, Somerset received an appointment in the royal household of the King Charles II and in August 1685 he was appointed Colonel of the Queen Consort's Light Dragoons when James II expanded his army after the Monmouth rebellion. However, he fell from favour in 1687 when as Lord of the Bedchamber he refuse
Joseph Wilton was an English sculptor. He was one of the founding members of the Royal Academy in 1768, the academy's third keeper, his works are numerous memorialising the famous Britons in Westminster Abbey. Born the son of an ornamental plasterer in the Charing Cross area of London, his father had sculpted the ceilings of the Foundling Hospital there, his father wished him to be a civil engineer but he desired to be a sculptor. Wilton trained under Laurent Delvaux at Nivelles, in present-day Belgium. In 1744 he went to the Academy in Paris to study under Jean-Baptiste Pigalle. In 1752 he went to Italy with his sculptor friend Louis-François Roubiliac to learn to sculpt in marble, stayed for seven years, living first in Rome and in Florence. Whilst in Rome he met and befriended his first patron, William Locke of Norbury, who thereafter accompanied Wilton on his tour of Italy. Like many other artists of the day, he studied antiquities, made numerous plaster casts and marble copies of classic works – many of these formed the collection of Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond at Richmond House in west London.
A marble bust of the physician and scholar Antonio Cocchi, carved by Wilton in 1755, his last year in Italy, is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Influenced by Wilton's study of antique busts, it was considered by Margaret Whinney to be one of Wilton's most distinguished works. While in Florence he made the acquaintance of the Florentine painter Giovanni Battista Cipriani; when Wilton and the architect William Chambers returned to England, in August 1755, Cipriani went with them. Once back in London, Wilton was named co-director of Lennox's Richmond House gallery, established a workshop, he built up a considerable practice, making busts and monuments, including the memorial to James Wolfe in Westminster Abbey. He made at least two marble busts of Oliver Cromwell, which he showed at the Society of Artists, in 1761 and 1761, basing the likeness on a cast of Cromwell's face. One marble version, the terracotta model for it, is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum.
In 1761, he was first commissioned to produce a statue of King George III. Similar commissions followed, including one in 1766 from New York City; this massive statue portrayed the king on horseback in Roman garb, was cast in lead and gilded before being shipped to America and erected at Bowling Green, near the tip of Manhattan in August 1770. It did not last long, being torn down by patriots in July 1776. Wilton's other works include many notable busts and other carvings including fireplaces and tables. In 1768, when Wilton was at the peak of his powers, he was elected a founder member of the Royal Academy. However, that year saw him inherit his father's fortune and the new wealth diverted him away from sculpture to a life of dissolution. In 1786 he was forced to sell most of his possessions and in 1793 he was declared bankrupt. In 1790 he was appointed Keeper of the Royal Academy, a post he kept until his death in 1803, he was buried at Wanstead Church in east London. Monument to Admiral Samuel Graves in Antony, Cornwall Monument to Pyke Crouch in Buntingford, Hertfordshire Monument to Admiral Temple West in Westminster Abbey Bust of Thomas Sydenham Bust of a Bearded Immortal for Wentworth Woodhouse a Medici lion sculpture at Kedleston Hall Monument to Stephen Hales in Westminster Abbey Monument to Admiral Holmes in Westminster Abbey Bust of his friend Louis-François Roubiliac Monument to Bishop Hoadly in Winchester Cathedral Monument to Charlotte St. Quentin in Harpham, Yorkshire Bust of Sir Isaac Newton in the Bodleian Library, Oxford Bust of Oliver Cromwell and Albert Museum Monument to Sir Hans Sloane in the churchyard of Chelsea Old Church Monument to Mary Okeover in Okeover, Staffordshire Monument to William Pulteney, 1st Earl of Bath in Westminster Abbey Bust of Lord Camden Bust of Sir Robert Long in Draycote Cerne Church, Wiltshire Monument to the Earl and Countess of Mountrath in Westminster Abbey Bust of Alfred the Great for Lord Radnor now in University College Oxford Monument to General James Wolfe in Westminster Abbey Bust of Lord Chesterfield, 4th Earl of Bristol at Ickworth Park, Suffolk Monument to Sir Thomas Street in Worcester Cathedral Monument of the Earl of Mexborough at Methley, Yorkshire Monument to Sir Basil Keith in Jamaica Cathedral Monument to Sir James Steuart Denham in Westminster Abbey Monument to his own daughters in Chelsea Old Church Monument to Sir Archibald Campbell in Westminster Abbey By some accounts, the town of Wilton, New Hampshire is said to have been named after Sir Joseph in 1762.
Whinney, Margaret. English Sculpture 1750–1830. London: HMSO