Soho Square – Charles II

Whilst dodging tourists in Soho Square, I saw this curiously situated statue of King Charles II.

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In 1861 this statue was installed as the centre-piece of a fountain in the middle of the square. Each corner of the fountain had statues of river gods representing the Thames, Severn, Humber and Tyne. The water, which was pumped by a windmill in nearby Rathbone Place, flowed from jugs into a large basin. It was one of a number of works by Danish sculptor Caius Gabriel Cibber (1630-1700) that stood in the square. He was appointed “carver to the king’s closet” by William III. In 1876 the badly deteriorated statue was removed and the fountain demolished. The statue was rescued to be renovated by  a friend of Thomas Blackwell of the condiment firm crosse & Blackwell who had offices in the square. In due course it was duly moved back to the square, where it now stands.

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