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The Gladstone Monument

A Grade II Listed Building in Hawarden, Flintshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.1853 / 53°11'7"N

Longitude: -3.0272 / 3°1'37"W

OS Eastings: 331456

OS Northings: 365846

OS Grid: SJ314658

Mapcode National: GBR 74.39EP

Mapcode Global: WH88C.G6QF

Plus Code: 9C5R5XPF+44

Entry Name: The Gladstone Monument

Listing Date: 16 November 1994

Last Amended: 10 November 2021

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 15026

Building Class: Commemorative

Location: Set back behind the perimeter walls of St. Deiniol's Library in its own formal garden.

County: Flintshire

Community: Hawarden (Penarlâg)

Community: Hawarden

Built-Up Area: Sandycroft

Traditional County: Flintshire

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Hawarden

History

Designed by John Hughes as one of 3 statues commissioned by the National Gladstone Memorial Committee in 1910. It was intended for the city of Dublin as the Irish National Memorial. Declined by the city council, it was instead presented to St. Deiniol's Library. It was erected in 1925.

William Gladstone (1808-1898) was a Member of the UK Parliament from 1832 to 1894 and served as Prime Minister for twelve years. He is the only Prime Minister to have served four terms. He was born in Liverpool the son of John Gladstone (1764-1851), a sugar merchant and plantation owner who was one of the largest owners of enslaved people in Britain’s colonies of Guiana and Jamaica. He entered Parliament in 1833, aged 23. At this time he supported emancipation but argued for apprenticeships to be served before enslaved persons were freed, and for the financial compensation of slave-owners (his father received the largest individual payment as the owner of 2508 slaves). By 1850, Gladstone described slavery as “‘by far the foulest crime that taints the history of mankind” and he used import taxes on slave-produced sugar to encourage other countries to abolish it. He also opposed the lucrative opium trade and objected to Britain’s Opium Wars against China. One of the great reforming Prime Ministers of Victorian Britain, Gladstone created the secret ballot, legalised trade unions and extended voting rights so that the majority of adult men were allowed to vote in Parliamentary elections. He passed the Elementary Education Act in 1870 and presided over important reforms of the army and the civil service. Gladstone was hostile to British Imperialism in Africa and Asia but nonetheless began the military occupation of Egypt in 1882. He saw political devolution as a peaceful way to keep Ireland within the British Empire but his attempts to establish Irish Home Rule were defeated. In Wales his governments passed the Welsh Sunday Closing Act in 1881 forcing pubs in Wales to close on Sundays (except in Monmouthshire) and created the University of Wales in 1893. In 1873 in Mold he was the first UK Prime Minister to address the National Eisteddfod.

Gladstone married Catherine Glynne in 1839. They lived at Hawarden Castle, Flintshire, which belonged to her family.

Exterior

Over life-size bronze figure of Gladstone on a stepped pedestal of portland stone with 4 flanking Tuscan columns. Acanthus decoration to N and S faces. Flanking sculpted figures of bronze representing Classical Learning, Finance, Eloquence and Erin (Ireland).

Reasons for Listing

Included for special architectural interest as a striking example of commemorative sculpture and for special historic interest as commemorating one of Britain’s outstanding Prime Ministers. Group value with St. Deiniol's Library and the neighbouring war memorial.

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