Fifteen terracotta relief tiles depicting scenes from Shakespeare's plays which form a band around the building between the ground and first floors; nine on the east side, five on the north side, and one larger than the rest, above the north-east entrance.
From far left the scenes represent:
Above the main door and inside the arch is a mosaic of Shakespeare based on the half length figure in the Holy Trinity Church overlooking Shakespeare's grave which is said to have been made fairly soon after the poets death and probably based on the death mask
East side (Chapel Street):
- King Lear, and his fool being driven out into the storm (Wikipedia).
- Hamlet, Act V, Sc. II, confronting Gertrude and Claudius with the poisoned cup (Wikipedia).
- Macbeth, the three witches (Wikipedia).
(click on the photo for an enlargement in a separate window.)
- Othello, and the murdered Desdemona (Wikipedia).
- As You Like It, a scene in the forest of Arden (Wikipedia).
- Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act V, Sc. IV, from left Valentine, Silvia, Proteus, and Julia (Wikipedia).
- A Midsummer Night's Dream, 'Bottom, thou art translated' (Wikipedia).
- Twelfth Night, Act III, Sc. IV, Viola and Sir Andrew Aguecheek nearly come to blows (Wikipedia).
- Coriolanus, with Virgilia and Volumnia (Wikipedia).
Above main entrance:
- The Merchant of Venice, the casket scene (Wikipedia).
North side (Ely Street):
- Anthony and Cleopatra, Act IV, Sc. IV (Wikipedia).
- Henry V, 'Once more into the breach' (Wikipedia).
- Richard II, Act III, Sc. III, Bolingbroke kneels to Richard before Flint Castle. The Bishop of Carlisle is in attendance (Wikipedia).
- King John, Act IV, Sc. IIII, the death of Prince Arthur (Wikipedia).
- Richard III, Act I, Sc. II, Gloucester asks Anne Neville to kill him (Wikipedia).
S. Barfield Scupt. (on the Hamlet panel, no. 2).
The Birmingham Banking Company built the present building on the site of their old establishment in 1883. The architects Harris, Martin and Harris where responsible for the design. The panels are illustrated in the Building News 25 April 1884.
- Samuel Barfield (1830-1887),
Leicester monumental stonemason, who produced statuary, monumental masonry and all types of ecclesiastical furniture and fittings.
Sources & Information
Location (N 52°11'29" - W 1°42'26")
Item Code: gbwm076; Photograph: 25 June 2014
Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
If you want to use photos, please contact us via the contact form (in Dutch, English or German).
© Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt