Gladstone's Library, Hawarden

By Rhian Waller - Gladstone's Library PR and marketing

Last week, we pointed out some of the features carved into the outside walls of Gladstone's Library. Today, we're introducing you to the statues that stand on our grounds.

Statue of poet Dante Alighieri at Gladstones Library.

Statue of poet Dante Alighieri at Gladstone's Library.

The first of four statues set into the walls of Gladstone's Library. This is the poet Dante Alighieri (1265-1321AD) standing within a nook on the Theology Room wall. Dante is best known for his narrative poetry the Divine Comedy, which is comprised of Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso.

There are two more statues visible at the front of the Library.

This side entrance on our residential wing features one of our four inset statues, English bishop and philosopher Joseph Butler (1692 -1752AD).

Aristotle carving at Gladstones Library.

Aristotle carving at Gladstone's Library.

The statue pictured is Aristotle (384 to 322BC) the Greek philosopher. His is often the first face to greet visitors as he is situated closest to the Church Lane entrance to our grounds.

Gladstones Librarys Gladstone statue.

Gladstone's Library's Gladstone statue.

The largest statue on the grounds is the Gladstone statue at the far end of the lawn. It is cast in bronze and stands on a stone plinth.

The four figures flanking the pedestal represent Classical Learning, Finance, Eloquence and Erin (Ireland). It was sculpted by Irish artist John Hughes and was originally to be placed in Dublin as the Irish National Memorial to Gladstone. However, it was brought to Gladstone's Library - then St Deiniol's - after being turned down by Dublin Council due to political tensions between Ireland and the UK.

It was originally commissioned by the National Gladstone Memorial Committee in 1910 and came to Hawarden in 1923. Visitors are welcome to take a closer look.

Sophia, the goddess of wisdom in the grounds of Gladstones Library.

Sophia, the goddess of wisdom in the grounds of Gladstone's Library.

In the back garden, a very different statue stands at the intersection of paths. This is Sophia, the goddess of wisdom in Hellenistic, Gnostic and Christian philosophical and religious traditions. This statue was installed in 2010.

Visitors are free to sit on one of the four slate benches, carved with Welsh and English script. These are Cariad (Love), Heddwch (Peace), Gwirionedd (Truth), and Cyfiawnder (Justice). They were carved by Tom Waugh, who also designed and created the Sophia statue, in 2009.

We hope you enjoyed this brief overview of the Library building, and that you will come to explore the grounds soon!