Henry Tudor Statue Campaign – Birthday Update

January 28th is a very special birthday. On that date in the year 1457 a baby was born in Pembroke Castle, a baby destined to become King of England and the founder of the brilliant Tudor dynasty. How do we intend to celebrate this? With a stunning bronze statue to King Henry VII which will, in the near future, stand proud on the Mill Bridge to greet visitors to our historic town. The maquette of the statue, which has been commissioned by Pembroke Town Council, was unveiled last week at a fundraising event organised by Pembroke & Monkton Local History Society in Pembroke Town Hall. Chair of the History Society Cllr Linda Asman, who is also leading the Statue Project, commented

“What better way to celebrated Henry’s birthday than a present of a cheque to start the Statue Appeal rolling? The History Society has so far raised £500 for the project and is presenting this to Pembroke Town Council in the hope that it will inspire other organisations in the town to follow suite. This is a project for the whole community to get behind; a celebration of Pembroke’s heritage”.

The bronze maquette is now displayed in the foyer of Pembroke Town Hall for all to see. The statue will cost in the region of £40,000 and Pembroke Town Council is extremely grateful to Pembrokeshire County Council for the allocation of £20,000 regeneration money as part of their Town Centre Support programme. The remainder has to be raised to match fund that amount.

Happy Birthday Henry

Ideas for fundraising as well as donations will be appreciated, Please ccontact Suzie Thomas ‘Henry VII Statue Appeal’ Pembroke Town Hall, Main Street, Pembroke 01646 683092 or email suzie@pembstowncouncil.plus.com

IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO HELP FUND THE STATUE AND WANT TO DONATE; then please make cheque donations out to –

‘Henry VII Statue Fund’ and addressed to Henry VII Statue Fund, c/o Pembroke Town Clerk, Pembroke Town Hall, Main Street, Pembroke, SA71 4JS

Advertisements

Henry Tudor Statue Campaign – Maquette Unveiled

A recent campaign has been initiated in Pembroke to see the production of a statue dedicated to Henry VII, the King of England who was born in the Welsh town. You can see the details of the campaign from this previous article by clicking HERE

On Saturday 16th January a second public meeting was held where a maquette was unveiled displaying what the final statue would look like. Tony Riches, author of Owen: Book One of the Tudor Trilogy, was present and reported the following, along with some photographs;

__________________________________________________________________

The maquette for the proposed new statue of Henry VII was unveiled by the sculptor Harriet Addyman.  This is the start of the fundraising campaign to bring a statue of Henry VII to the town of his birth.

Harriet Addyman said, ‘it has been fascinating to learn about the life of Henry VII during the research phase of developing the work.’

It is hoped the statue will be placed in front of Pembroke Castle, and it was announced that progress has been made towards raising the £40,000 needed for the statue, and Pembrokeshire County Council has agreed to ‘match fund’ the costs.

The event was well attended and also screened ‘Years of the Tudors’ – A local film taken in Pembroke Castle to mark the 500th anniversary of Henry’s victory at Bosworth.

__________________________________________________________________

IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO HELP FUND THE STATUE AND WANT TO DONATE; then please make cheque donations out to –

‘Henry VII Statue Fund’ and addressed to Henry VII Statue Fund, c/o Pembroke Town Clerk, Pembroke Town Hall, Main Street, Pembroke, SA71 4JS

Sculptor Harriet Addyman with Pembroke Town Mayor Pauline Waters, town crier Rose Blackburn and Pembroke & Monckton History Society member Linda Asman

Sculptor Harriet Addyman with Pembroke Town Mayor Pauline Waters, town crier Rose Blackburn and Pembroke & Monkton History Society member Linda Asmanunspecified2

 

 

 

 

 

New Campaign for a Henry Tudor Statue and Visitor Centre in Pembroke

By Nathen Amin

A new campaign for a statue and visitor centre for Henry VII in Pembroke is underway, led by the town council in close conjunction with the Pembroke and Monckton Local History Society.

In November 2014 Pembroke Town Council agreed to commission a marquette and public consultation is now ongoing as to the details of the project. A site has been earmarked on the bridge which crosses the picturesque Mill Pond towards the rear of the castle. It is certain that should a statue be sited on this bridge, the backdrop of the castle would ensure this monument’s location would be one of the most spectacular in the country.

On 3 October 2015 the Pembroke and Monckton Local History Society hosted a coffee morning to invite discussion over the plans and to seek public opinion. A well-received talk on ‘Pembroke and the Tudors’ was given by prolific Welsh author Terry Breverton and also present was Tudor historical fiction author and Pembrokeshire native Tony Riches. A brief introduction was given by town Mayor Pauline Waters who stressed the importance of the statue to Pembroke and underlining the support of the town council for the project. A presentation was then given by Linda Asman of the local history society who has been responsible for the organisation of the campaign thus far.

It was announced that the town council had commissioned a small model of the proposed statue by local sculptor Harriet Addyman which was praised by those present. The model depicts Henry Tudor in his traditional full length robe and black cap whilst a greyhound stands loyally to his side, indicative of not only the earldom of Richmond but also the tradition of greyhounds in the local area. It was also further announced that Pembrokeshire County Council had agreed to match fund from their Town Centre Support Programme although the majority of the funds would still need to be raised.

In addition to the statue, those involved in the campaign also spoke passionately about their ultimate aim of opening a dedicated Henry Tudor Visitor Centre in Pembroke. A national appeal will be conducted to help fundraise and the hope is that the centre will serve as a must-visit location in the study of England’s Welsh king.

12074591_967815619952707_4282800455883394947_n

Why Does Pembroke need a Henry Tudor statue?

The Tudor Dynasty is without doubt one of the Europe’s most infamous families; their story has been told and retold across the centuries and remains today a massive, multi-million pound industry centred around the key figures who once ruled England – Henry VIII and Elizabeth I to name but two. ‘Tudor England’ in itself has become a well-known phrase that covers many aspects of the era, particularly architecture, arts and the lifestyle. What is often overlooked however is that the Tudors, whilst coming to encompass all that is considered great about England, were a Welsh dynasty with their roots firmly entrenched in the hills across Offa’s Dyke.

A descendant of Welsh royalty through his paternal family, Henry Tudor was born in Pembroke Castle on the night of 28 January 1457. It was alleged by a later chronicler that Henry’s birth took place in one of the outer gatehouse towers, marked today by a wonderful exhibition featuring his young mother Margaret Beaufort. Henry it appears stayed at Pembroke until he was around four years old when he became the ward of William Herbert and relocated to Raglan Castle in Monmouthshire.

Nonetheless, this precocious young child was a son of Pembroke and a son of Pembroke he remained. With this in mind it is somewhat disappointing to note the lack of celebration towards the birth and subsequent life of Henry Tudor in West Wales. This isn’t merely a location with a tenuous link to the Tudors, it’s an integral part of the Tudor story as the birthplace of Henry VII, Father of the Tudor Dynasty. With the plethora of Tudor related places in the region it is very surprising and almost unacceptable to learn that this wonderful historical occurrence hasn’t been capitalised upon. There is a large and lucrative Tudor market in England which has proved to be provide a consistent income from tourism and it is galling that Pembrokeshire has yet to adopt such measures.

If people are willing to travel hundreds of miles, sometimes thousands, to visit Tudor locations throughout England then surely Pembroke and indeed Pembrokeshire should be marketing itself as the “Birthplace of the Tudor Dynasty”. It is difficult to overstate the financial benefits the Tudors bring to the UK touristy industry, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Americans alone regularly visiting the many palaces and castles in England to place themselves in the very spot history happened. Hampton Court. Windsor. Kenilworth Castle. Ludlow Castle. Even Stratford-Upon-Avon with its Shakespeare links. York has built an entire tourism industry by capitalising on its, admittedly unique, heritage. The list is endless.

I have previously campaigned for a statue to be erected of Henry Tudor in Pembroke, supported by the castle and the town council. It would give an overt and obvious indication of the importance of the castle to the Tudor story and could prove to be a lucrative marketing aspect for Tudor addicts. It is all very well having exhibitions inside, but the key is attracting people to the area in the first place, and a statue would certainly do that. As a comparison, the small North Welsh village of Corwen has a magnificent statue of Owain Glyndwr and as a result has been able to attract scores of Welshmen from all over to view it. Imagine tapping into only a mere percentage of the gigantic Tudor Tourism Industry and persuading them to come to Pembroke for a similar pilgrimage to the one they already make to many different locales throughout England.

The castle itself, under the managerialship of Jon Williams, has certainly done all it can financially do to increase tourism although their ambitions are drastically reduced by the economic issues of running such an enterprise without any outside funding. Jon once stated to me “we are gradually adding to and modernising our interpretation here and although we don’t lack ambition and ideas unfortunately it takes money to make things happen on a major scale“. Indeed Pembroke Castle itself is a small independent charitable trust “that needs to spend a lot of resources to simply maintain the castle as a visitor attraction“. Jon further stated “it would make perfect sense to have a statue although my opinion is that it would benefit Pembroke more if it were at the opposite end of the main street to the Castle. Firstly this would encourage Castle visitors to wander the town and secondly it would act as a good welcome to people arriving at East End Square“.

A statue or visitor centre of Henry Tudor would certainly benefit Pembroke and it would benefit Wales. Pembrokeshire’s most famous son deserves more than a couple of mere plaques and in an age of austerity any attempt to bring in tourism to boost the stuttering economy must be seriously looked at. Pembroke is the home of the world famous Tudor Dynasty and deserves recognition that would certainly place it on the global scale alongside other famous Tudor locations in England.