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Historic Building Details

HB Ref No:
HB26/50/001 I

Extent of Listing:

Date of Construction:
1900 - 1919

Address :
Victoria Monument City Hall Donegall Square Belfast County Antrim BT1 5GS

Town Parks

Survey 2:

Date of Listing:
20/06/1984 00:00:00

Date of De-listing:

Current Use:

Former Use

Conservation Area:

Industrial Archaeology:





OS Map No:

IG Ref:
J3383 7406

Owner Category

Exterior Description And Setting

Centrally placed in the front lawn of the City Hall 1903 as the most significant of the memorial statues erected shortly after the construction of the building itself, this is a Carrara marble statue of Queen Victoria standing holding an orb and sceptre, sculpted by Thomas Brock commemorating her diamond jubilee. Set on a plinth of three steps is a two-stage moulded base which carries the marble podium on which the robed figure of the Queen stands. On either side of her podium sit bronze figures of a mob-capped girl holding a spindle, a boy reading a scroll, and a shipwright in apron and hobnail boots clutching a model steamship, representing the linen and shipbuilding industries and education. A bronze shield and swags is set in front of the inscribed podium. Approximately six metres high. Setting Set in the grounds of Belfast City Hall (HB26/50/001A) amongst a number of memorials in the grounds (HB26/50/001B-001H) and HB26/50/001J), on grass lawns. Many of the buildings around Donegall Square are also similar in date, contributing to the context of this structure. Plinth: Portland limestone Sculptures: marble and bronze


Brock, Sir T

Historical Information

Funded by public subscription and built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, the statue was the work of Thomas Brock and was unveiled on 27th July 1903 by King Edward VII. Designed in 1887, this freestanding, eleven foot high statue in white marble was completed in 1901. However the piece was not erected until April 1903 due to a debate over the most suitable location. The first suggestion was Queen’s University (HB26/27/005) but this was turned down in favour of a position outside the City Hall building (HB26/50/001A). As the building was under construction at that time, the statue was boarded up until the official unveiling, to prevent any damage (Larmour). Reported to have been described by the King as the best he had yet seen of the late Queen, the piece was designed by Sir Thomas Brock (Larmour; Belfast News Letter). A leading sculptor of the day, Brock had previously produced many portraits of Queen Victoria, including the new coinage effigy in 1882, for which he was highly praised. Immediately following his work in Belfast, Brock was appointed through invitation, to design the Queen’s memorial in The Mall outside Buckingham Palace (Oxford DNB). The monument in white Tuscan marble, depicts the standing figure of a robed Queen Victoria holding an orb and sceptre. The tiered pedestal beneath, features bronze figures of a girl with a spindle, a shipwright and a boy with a scroll; each is a representative of spinning, shipbuilding and education, respectively (Patton). The inscription is an excerpt from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee speech of 1897; “From my heart I thank my beloved people; may God bless them.” (Larmour). The statue suffered extensive weathering which included half of the orb, part of the sceptre and the statue’s thumb and index finger. Cleaning and repair work was carried out to the memorial between 1992-93 (HB File). Writing in 2010, Larmour comments that this dominating statue is the most significant of the original pieces to be erected in the City Hall grounds, prior to completion of the building itself. Despite much criticism over the proximity of the statue to the porte-cochere at the City Hall entrance, the monument remains unchanged from its original position; centrally located in front of the City Hall building and sited within a large circular lawn (Larmour). References: Primary Sources 1. National Library of Ireland, L_ROY_02386 “City Hall Belfast” (1880-1900s) The Lawrence Photograph Collection 2. HB File (HB26/50/001 I) Secondary Sources 1. Larmour, P “Belfast City Hall- An Architectural History” UAHS (2010) 2. McIntosh, Gillian “Belfast City Hall One Hundred Years” Belfast City Council (2006) 3. Patton, Marcus “Central Belfast- An Historical Gazetteer” UAHS, Belfast (1993) 4. - Dictionary of Irish Architects online 5. Oxford DNB “Oxford Dictionary of National Biography”

Criteria for Listing

Architectural Interest

A. Style B. Proportion C. Ornamentation D. Plan Form J. Setting K. Group value

Historic Interest

W. Northern Ireland/International Interest Z. Rarity V. Authorship


The grandest and most significant of the memorials ornamenting the City Hall grounds, this Carrara marble statue by Sir Thomas Brock records Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee of 1897. It is finely crafted having a Baroque base to a standing statue of the Queen surrounded by bronze figures representing linen spinning, shipbuilding and education. Brock also sculpted the Titanic Memorial(HB26/50/001E) and the Sir Edward Harland Memorial(HB26/50/001F). This is one of a number of high quality memorials (HB26/50/001B-J) in the grounds surrounding the City Hall (HB26/50/001A) and was unveiled shortly after it was opened. It is a fine example of the work of a pre-eminent sculptor, embodying the civic identity of the City and representing the major era of expansion and prosperity in Belfast's history.

General Comments

Formerly HB26/50/010

Date of Survey

20 August 2012