Detail View: SHIMMER: Cholera Monument

Cholera Monument
Creation Date: 
Image Date: 
19th century
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Sheffield, South Yorkshire
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Taken from the 'Illustrated Guide to Sheffield', Pawson & Brailsford, 1879. Location: South west end of Monument Gardens, entrance from Norfolk Road. The monument looks out over the west side of the city from the slope above the railway station. The Gardens are sited opposite the Shrewsbury Hospitals. (A-Z p5 6H) Description: A stone obelisk, with a three cornered cross-section. Female figures, Faith, Hope and Charity, are set in a niche on each face of the monument. The top of the monument was removed in the early 1990's for safety reasons after a lightning strike. It was cleaned and restored in 2004 and now has a very striking appearance. The neighbouring flats are to be demolished, which will restore the original appearance of the site and give the monument much more visual impact. The onsite plaque reads: "THIS MONUMENT WAS ERECTED TO THE MEMORY OF / 402 PERSONS WHO DIED FROM ASIATIC CHOLERA / DURING THE EPIDEMIC OF 1832, & WERE BURIED IN / THESE GROUNDS. THE TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONS / ATTACKED BY THIS DISEASE WAS 1347 - AND / AMONGST THOSE WHO DIED WAS / THE MASTER CUTLER FOR THE YEAR Mr. JOHN BLAKE / THE FOUNDATION STONE WAS LAID BY / JAMES MONTGOMERY, THE POET, 11th DECr. 1834. / THE MONUMENT WAS COMPLETED AND THE TOP / STONE PLACED IN POSITION 11th APRIL 1835." Commission: After the epidemic had passed the Board of Health for the Townships of Sheffield, Brightside, Ecclesall and Nether Hallam decided that the " .. Abstract of the Treasurer's Accounts be published once in each of the Sheffield newspapers" They also decided that the balance of money left in the accounts " .. may with propriety be employed in the erection of some suitable memorial on the Cholera Burial Ground, to record the visitation of the disease in this neighbourhood." [1] Update November 2006: The monument has been extensively restored following a campaign led by Jim Hurley. The top of the monument had been removed as a safety precation following storm damage in the 1990's. The adjoining flats have now been pulled down and the view from the city centre, particularly when walking towards the railway station down Howard Street, has been restored to something resembling that of 1835. On 30 Nevember 2006 the restoration of this monument was awarded The 2005-2006 Marsh Award for Restoration in Public Sculpture, by the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association in collaboration with the Marsh Christian Trust. Comment: The monument commemorates a cholera epidemic in Sheffield in 1832, which killed 403 people, among them the Master Cutler. The Board of Health for Sheffield during this emergency was chaired by James Montgomery, whose memorial appears outside Sheffield Cathedral. References: [1] From an advertisement in the Sheffield Mercury, August 3, 1883. The advertisement appears in full in John Stokes: The History of the Cholera Epidemic of 1832 in Sheffield, 1921. J W Northend Ltd, Sheffield.
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Image Storage Location:
Photographed by: 
copy stand
Creator Dates - Active: 
19th century ; 20th century
Creator Role: 
Architectural firm. Based in Sheffield.
Subject Heading: 
Sculpture -- England -- Sheffield
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