The Queen's Beasts arrive at King's

The White Horse of Hanover

The White Horse of Hanover

The Queen's Beasts arrived on the Back Lawn of King's today. The 'Beasts' are ten sculptures of heraldic animals made by the artist Tom Hiscocks.

The animals represent the genealogy of the Queen, such as the Griffin of Edward III, The Red Dragon of Wales and the White Horse of Hanover.

They are a modern interpretation of the original Queen's Beasts, which stood outside Westminster Abbey on the Queen's Coronation Day on 2 June 1953.

These original Beasts were made of stone, but Hiscocks has remade them from recycled metals. This is partly because he is passionate about recycling, but also because he is interested in how identity changes over time.

The stone sculptures, he says, were 'more a response to a human need for permanence of representation rather than a true reflection of the character of the beasts.' For Hiscocks identity is dynamic, so he remade the Beasts with recycled metals to give them '"flash" and "bling" and movement reflecting the current world they are part of.'

The ten sculptures are touring the country as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. They will on the Back Lawn by the river at King's until 15 June.

Please note that the grounds are closed to the public for the exam period but you can see the sculptures from the Backs, from a punt on the river, or from the West End of the Chapel if you visit the Chapel. You will also be able to see them from the path through King's if you are a university member or have a residents' pass. There are also pictures of them on Tom Hiscocks' website.

The Queen's Beasts

The original stone beasts are at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, but copies of them are outside the Palm House at Kew Gardens.

  • The Lion of England
  • The Griffin of Edward III
  • The Falcon of the Plantagenets
  • The Black Bull of Clarence
  • The White Lion of Mortimer
  • The Yale of Beaufort
  • The White Greyhound of Richmond
  • The Red Dragon of Wales
  • The Unicorn of Scotland
  • The White Horse of Hanover

Posted: 

1 June 2012