Monday, October 12, 2015

Bermondsey Black Beauty

Yes it's time for another South London horse sculpture. After featuring the Vauxhall horse sculptures last week (which have now been removed), here's 'Jacob' in Queen Elizabeth Street SE1, in Bermondsey to the east of Tower Bridge Road.

Somebody who works nearby told me that he thought it had come from a local film studio where they had filmed Black Beauty. Sadly this local folkore does not seem to be true, the statue's real origins are described in the plaque on its plinth:

'Jacob, the Circle Dray Horse. The famous Courage dray horses were stabled on this site from the early nineteenth century and delivered beer around London from the brewery on Horselydown Lane by Tower Bridge. In the sixteenth century the area became known as Horselydown which derives from Horse-Lie_Down a description of working horses resting before crossing London Bridge into the City of London. Jacob was commissioned by Jacobs Island Company and Farlane Properties as the centrepiece of the Circle to commemorate the history of the site. He was flown over London by helicopter into Queen Elizabeth Street to launch the circle in October 1987'

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