Sculpture Journal

‘Beloved by all who knew him’: the lost statue of Captain Pechell

Sculpture Journal (2014), 23, (3), 293–306.

Abstract

In dense undergrowth in Brighton’s Stanmer Park stands the once magnificent statue of Captain William Henry Cecil George Pechell. The statue, in Caen stone by Matthew Noble, originally dominated the vestibule of the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, a room that came to be known as the Hall of the Worthies. Pechell, a captain in the 77th Middlesex Regiment, was killed at Sebastopol on 3 September 1855, aged 25. His death had a significant impact on both the men of his regiment and on the people of Brighton and, reflecting this, the statue and its plinth were suitably monumental, together standing at over 4 metres high. Following a series of moves from the Pavilion and then through the various galleries of Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, the statue was transported to Stanmer Park for storage. In 2007 the author discovered the statue there, abandoned and badly damaged in thick undergrowth. In addition to providing the biography of an important example of Victorian commemorative sculpture, this article highlights the importance to the survival of memorial statuary of where it is erected and the role of its custodians.

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Author details

McIntosh, Anthony