Pembroke set to unveil statue of ‘Greatest Knight’

By Patrick Ovenden   |   Reporter   |
Friday 29th April 2022 5:19 pm
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Pembroke is gearing itself up for the grand unveiling of the much anticipated statue of William Marshal on Saturday, May 7.

The ceremony will take place at 2 pm on Monkton Mill Bridge, just beneath the walls of Pembroke, which will form a stunning background for the statue.

Said Pembroke Mayor Linda Asman: “It has long been an ambition to erect a statue to William Marshal, one of the great heroes of our history who was Earl of Pembroke. Pembroke has a prestigious history: so many great figures are associated with it, including of course Henry VII, celebrated with the popular statue on the Mill Bridge and a future Henry Tudor Visitor Centre.

“William Marshal was a remarkable man and every bit as great as a king. A minor noble by birth, he rose to prominence from sheer ability, super star of the tournament, mentor to five kings, defender of Magna Carta and Regent of England. Known in his own lifetime as the Greatest Knight, this man became Earl of Pembroke and left us a lasting legacy – the castle built of stone. He certainly deserves a statue!

“It has once again been my privilege to work with sculptor Harriet Addyman, whose outstanding bronze statue of Henry VII has been such a success.”

The statue has been cast in bronze by the Castle Fine Arts Foundry, near Oswestry, where it is awaiting transportation to Pembroke on May 5 when it will be installed on its plinth below the Castle. The ceremony will take place on Monkton Bridge at 2 pm on May 7 when the Deputy Lord Lieutenant Mr. Meurig Raymond CBE DL will unveil the statue - a magnificent, life-sized bronze knight mounted on his horse.

The unveiling will be followed by a community celebration in Pembroke Castle which has been funded by the kind generosity of Pembroke Town Council and Pembroke Castle Trustees who are allowing free entry to the Castle from 2.30 to 5 pm for the occasion.

A marquee with stalls will be erected on the Castle grounds, and a programme of entertainment will include a concert by Pembroke Male Voice Choir, scheduled for 3 pm. For children there will also be a competition for the best dressed knight and princess, with prizes for the winners.

Visitors will be able to find out more about William Marshal and his times from the Living History Society, Historia Normannis, whose aim is to allow people to engage with history – seeing, feeling and hearing first-hand aspects of the lives and deaths of 12th century people. They will be looking at the arms and armour of medieval knights, such as William Marshal, the tourneys he loved so much and the brutality of medieval combat.

Everyone is welcome to join in to celebrate Pembroke’s Greatest Knight. Any queries, contact Pembroke Town Hall, Main Street, Pembroke 01646 683092 or email [email protected]

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