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Memorial to Dr William Rea

A Grade II Listed Building in South Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne

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Latitude: 54.9835 / 54°59'0"N

Longitude: -1.6001 / 1°36'0"W

OS Eastings: 425691

OS Northings: 565501

OS Grid: NZ256655

Mapcode National: GBR SR6.CN

Mapcode Global: WHC3K.DZ9Z

Plus Code: 9C6WX9MX+9X

Entry Name: Memorial to Dr William Rea

Listing Date: 19 September 2007

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1392258

English Heritage Legacy ID: 503736

Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2

County: Newcastle upon Tyne

Electoral Ward/Division: South Jesmond

Built-Up Area: Newcastle upon Tyne

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Tyne and Wear

Church of England Parish: Jesmond Clayton Memorial Church

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle

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Memorial to Dr William Rea


Grave Monument erected in 1906 to Dr. William Rea who died in 1903. It was designed by Robert O'Brien North and incorporates a profile of Dr Rea by Francis Derwent Wood. Portland stone on a sandstone base bearing a bronze medallion.

The simple gravestone situated in Jesmond Old Cemetery (broken into two pieces at the time of visiting - 2007) bears an oval bronze medallion containing a life size profile in relief of William Rea; the bronze is, surrounded by a scrolled wreath. The inscription below reads: In Loving Memory of/WILLIAM REA, MUS. DOC./Who devoted more than forty years/To cultivating a love of good music/Amongst the people of the city./Born, March 25th, 1827 Died, March 6th, 1903./And of his dearly beloved wife,/EMMA MARY,/Daughter of Wesley Stoker Woolhouse, F.R.A.S,/Born April 7th, 1833 Died May 6th, 1893/Also of his children, who died in 1861/Emma Gertrude, age 6 years; Emma Beatrice, age 3 years./The souls of the righteous are in the hands of God. /Wisdom, chap 3.

History: The grave monument commissioned by Dr. Rea's sons was executed in London and transported to Newcastle where it was erected in the cemetery in 1906. Dr Rea is a locally important figure who in the later C19 was successful in establishing a musical culture among ordinary people of Newcastle upon Tyne. His local importance has recently been recognised by a blue plaque at his last known home, in Summerhill, Newcastle. The grave monument is based on C18 designs and is the work of the architect Robert O'Brien North. North was articled to Messrs. Goldie, Child & Goldie and served as their chief assistant before setting up practice on his own. His obituary in `The Builder' described his individual works as `scholarly', and notable designs include Rugby Town Hall.

A bronze medallion set in the upper part of the monument is the work of the sculptor Frank Derwent Wood; Wood is considered an eminent national sculptor and features in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. He has many acclaimed works of art to his name in a variety of media including public monuments such as the bronze sculpture of Sir Titus Salt, Saltaire and war memorials including the best known and Grade II Listed Machine Gun Corps Memorial, Hyde Park Corner bearing a statue in Bronze of David. His portraits in particular are considered remarkable for their modelling and character, and many of his works are held in national collections: his bronze portraits of T. E Lawrence and the painter Ambrose McEvoy, for example, are held in the Tate gallery and the National Portrait Gallery respectively. Among many accolades, he was a founder member of the Association of British Sculptors, Professor of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art (1918-23) and was elected first an associate of the Royal Academy in 1910 and Royal Academician in 1920.

SOURCES: Sarah Crellin, `Wood, Francis Derwent (1871-1926, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/36999, accessed 8 June 2007]
A S Gray, (1986) Edwardian Architecture: A Biographical Dictionary, 390-1
Newcastle Daily Chronicle February 1906
Obituary of R O'Brien North, The Builder March 28th 1919
REASON FOR DESIGNATION DECISION:This early C20 grave monument is designated Grade II, for the following principal reasons:

* It incorporates a brass profile in relief by the eminent sculptor
Francis Derwent Wood.
* The sculptural quality is of the highest order
* It represents a rare example of cemetery work by a national artist in
* Examples of Derwent Wood's work are uncommon outside London

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