The truncated statue to Richard Andrews (1798-1859) stands in East Park, now known also as Andrews Park. In its original form (see image 2) the memorial consisted of a triangular stone pedestal in two stages, the lower stage reflecting three elements in Andrews’ life – his character as a man, the steps by which he rose to his high position and important events with which he was associated – whilst the smaller upper stage held panels carved with didactic descriptions. The whole was topped by a larger-than-life statue of Richard Andrews. The pedestal also incorporated an ornamental drinking fountain. It was pure Victorian whimsicality, described as being in the Provencal Romanesque style.

The foundation stone was laid on 1 October 1860, witnessed by between 3,000 and 4,000 people. The memorial was paid for by public subscription. The minutes of the Andrews Memorial Committee in Southampton City Archives (SC 2/3/10) give a detailed picture of the political infighting common in mid-nineteenth century Southampton. The architectural commission was first given to Philip Brannon, one of those Liberals who had stayed true to Andrews in his later years. His ebullient design was originally rejected as an inappropriate commemoration of “a plain and worthy citizen”.

Concerns were also raised about the cost and the use of soft Bath stone for the pedestal. A subcommittee was set up to receive further tenders, and the more simple design of the architect James Pedley was accepted. This decision was controversially overturned by the full committee. The construction of the memorial was entrusted to a Shirley stonemason, Benjamin Brain, whose tender was the lowest received and who accepted Brannon’s decision to use Bath stone for the pedestal. This provoked the angry resignation from the memorial committee of Josiah George Poole, architect and surveyor to the local Board of Health.
The memorial was finally completed, after months of delay, on 17 January 1862. In all it stood 25 feet high.

The pedestal was removed in 1971 following crippling erosion of the Bath stone and the statue of Andrews – built of harder-wearing Portland stone - was repositioned on a squat round base, the sole surviving part of the 1861 pedestal. In 2000 the statue was mounted on a new plinth of Portland stone (image 1): it was unveiled on 1 October, the anniversary both of the laying of the foundation stone of the original memorial and of Andrews setting himself up as a carriage manufacturer in Southampton. It is Grade II listed.

1. Statue of Richard Andrews, East Park

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The statue on a plain plinth of Portland Stone, as it looks today.

2. Statue of Richard Andrews, East Park

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The statue and ornate plinth as they originally looked.

see also

Further reading:
Southampton Memorials of Care for Man and Beast, by A. G. K. Leonard, p10-14. (HS/k)
Building Stones of Southampton, by Anthony Wadham, p17. (HS/i)


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