Where is it? #24

April 13, 2012

The latest in the series in which we ask you to identify where in London this picture was taken and what it’s of. If you think you can identify this picture, leave a comment below. We’ll reveal the answer early next week. Good luck!

Must have been a tough one because we only had one taker – Sue Kendrick – who was correct in saying that this was the memorial to 17th century English composer Henry Purcell located in Christchurch Gardens on Victoria Street (yes, near Scotland Yard!). The rather florid memorial, sculpted by Glynn Williams, was unveiled by Princess Margaret on 22nd November, 1995, the tercentenary of Purcell’s death. Purcell, credited as one of the greatest ever English composers thanks to his unique take on Baroque music, is believed to have been born nearby in a premises on a lane located off Old Pye Street. The gardens in which they are located also houses the Suffragette Memorial and is a former burial ground.

Tucked away in a corner of Christchurch Gardens, opposite New Scotland Yard in Victoria Street, St James, this memorial was only erected in 1970.

Designed to resemble an uncurling scroll, the bronzed glass fibre scroll – designed by Edwin Russell – was put there by the Suffragette Fellowship (a group which was founded in 1926 to commemorate the suffrage movement of the early 20th century) and dedicated to the “courage and perseverance of all those men and women who in the long struggle for votes for women, selflessly braved derision, opposition and ostracism, many enduring physical violence and suffering”.

The monument, which is located near Caxton Hall – a now-listed building opened as the Westminster Town Hall in 1883 and “historically associated with women’s suffrage meetings”, was unveiled by former campaigner and hunger-striker Lillian Lenton.

While we’re on the subject of women’s suffrage, we should also mention the memorial to the most prominent member of the early 20th century women’s suffrage movement, Emmeline Pankhurst (1857-1928). Located not far away in Victoria Tower Gardens, right under the shadow of Victoria Tower at the southern end of the Houses of Parliament, stands a 1930 statue of the suffrage leader, who was imprisoned for her stand.

The statue is accompanied by two bronze medallions – one commemorating Mrs Pankhurst’s daughter and suffragette, Dame Christabel Pankhurst (1880-1958), and the other showing the badge of the Women’s Social Political Union (WSPU).