On Friday 27 June, Manx National Heritage (MNH) supervised the careful removal of the bronze statue of Captain John Quilliam, R.N., from the Speaker’s Garden of Castle Rushen in Castletown. Working with local experts, Mason, T. Cubbon, and Mann Crane Hire, the sculpture was lifted from its location in the gardens and transferred to MNH’s large objects store and conservation facility in Ballasalla.
The statue will undergo some conservation work before being returned to a new and more prominent location in Castletown, on the Quayside adjacent to Costa Coffee, fittingly overlooking the harbour.
The quayside is an important part of the townscape which MNH have been instrumental in protecting through substantial investment in the refurbishment of the Costa building and landscaping the area around it. The relocation of the Quilliam Bust here is a very appropriate finishing touch to that work.
Timing of the return of the statue to Castletown is expected to be achieved next month.
Christopher Weeks, Collections Care and Conservation Manager at Manx National Heritage said:
“The bronze sculpture of Captain Quilliam is a very fine work of art and is part of the national art collection. We are very pleased to be able to show the sculpture in a more fitting and prominent location”.
Captain Quilliam, born in 1771 in Marown, enjoyed a brilliantly successful naval career. As first lieutenant on H.M.S. Victory during the Battle of Trafalgar Quilliam steered the ship from the gun room after the ship’s wheel had been destroyed. His blood-stained Trafalgar uniform is displayed at the Manx Museum.
Bryan Kneale, R.A. is an internationally renowned sculptor and one of the island’s finest artists. Several of his commissions can be seen in public on the Island, including the Triskelion sculpture at Ronaldsway Airport. The last remaining Limited edition models of the Kneale Triskelion sculpture are available to purchase from the Manx Museum Gallery shop.