The Victoria Memorial

The Victoria Memorial cost nearly £8,000 and was unveiled on the afternoon of Monday the 27th November 1905 by the then Lord Mayor, Mr Edwin Woodhouse, in the area in front of the Town Hall then known as Victoria Square.

During the ceremony, the Lord Mayor charged the city to keep the the memorial in good condition for all time. But despite this, and the fact that the memorial is one of the most impressive to be erected in memory of the late Queen, in recent years it has been neglected. The bronze figure representing Industry was removed by the Leeds City Council and has been missing from the memorial for several years. The memorial was moved to its present location on Woodhouse Moor in 1937.

The following is a description of the memorial from the Leeds and Yorkshire Mercury of the 25th November 1905 :

“The memorial stands over thirty feet in height. On the top of an elaborately decorated pedestal is a seated figure of the Queen, crowned and wearing Coronation robes. In her right hand she holds the sceptre, and in her left hand the orb. On either side of the base are bronze figures representing Peace and Industry.

Peace holds the world in one hand, and the palm of peace in the other. Above her are carved the “Fruits of the Earth,” typifying plenty. Industry is seated, surrounded by emblems of the industries of Leeds; and above are carvings representing the “Fruits of the Sea,” in token of the nation’s naval character.

All around the base of the monument runs a bronze band, bearing the names and emblems of India, Canada, Africa, and Australia. On the front of the pedestal are the Royal Arms, and the inscription, “Victoria, 1837-1901.” On the back are the Arms of Leeds, together with the inscription, “Raised by Voluntary Subscriptions of the Citizens of Leeds in the year 1901.”

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