Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Croydon Public Library, Katharine Street CR9
The overall architect was Charles Henman Jr, who employed a number of sculptors to embellish the design.
J Wenlock Rollins was commissioned to carve a full length statue of Croydon's most famous and generous resident, Archbishop Whitgift.
He is portrayed seated, wearing a gown, ruff and flat hat. He thoughtfully turns the page of a book on his lap. A rather contemplative study of the man who ruthlessly enforced Queen Elizabeth's power over the newly Protestant Church of England.
It is, unfortunately, rather worn and deserves to be gently recut.
Rollins also contributed an attractive carving of two scholarly nudists in the pediment over the library's front door. They recline back-to-back against an urn filled with fruit, one reading Poetry and the other Prose.