Chichester home found for Murray and Nelson sculpture

A home has finally been found for a new sculpture of a Chichester hero and his close friend Lord Nelson.

How the sculpture would look in situ outside the Council House in North Street
How the sculpture would look in situ outside the Council House in North Street

Admiral Sir George Murray, who was mayor of the city in 1815, was Nelson’s captain of the fleet and only missed the Battle of Trafalgar by chance.

The original preferred location for a sculpture of the pair was in front of Jack Wills in North Street which was once the home of Murray’s brother Richard.

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This is also close to the Ship Hotel - built by Murray as his home.

Richard Plowman and Vincent Gray with the resin sculptures of Murray and Nelson

But when an agreement could not be reached with the site’s owner a search for a new home was launched.

Now the Murray Club has secured a site outside the Council House, home to the city council in North Street.

An agreement has already been secured from West Sussex County Council to place the sculpture on the public highway.

Now temporary planning permission for five years is being sought from Chichester District Council.

Vincent Gray, the behind man the Keats sculpture in Eastgate Square, has already created the two life size figures in resin.

The completed sculpture has been moved from Mr Gray’s studio and is currently being stored in the Council House.

Fundraising continues to enable the sculpture to be cast in bronze and placed on a stone plinth.

At this point a search will begin for a permanent site within central Chichester.

The planning application concludes: “The proposed sculpture reflects part of Chichester’s unique heritage and is, therefore, of great public interest.

“It also provides a focus and appropriate point of interest within the open civic space. The location has a strong connection with the sculpture’s subject matter without harming the heritage asset of the Council House or the conservation area.”

If planning permission is secured an offical unveiling will be planned once the lockdown measures have been lifted.

To comment on the application visit www.chichester.gov.uk/planning using code 20/00902/FUL.

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