Only Henry VIII statue in London


Posted by Colin

Divorced, beheaded, died. Divorced, beheaded, survived…

Thanks to his penchant for partners and his reformation of the Church, Henry VIII is one of England’s most famous monarchs. And yet, curiously, there is only one outdoor statue of the Tudor king in the Capital.

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To see it for yourself, you’ll have to head off to the entrance gate of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital next to Smithfields Market. St. Barts, the UK’s oldest surviving hospital on an original site, was initially part of a priory and so when Henry VIII tore up the religious rulebook in the 1530s it was under threat of closure.

Whilst the priory itself was dissolved, the hospital survived and in 1546 the King handed the hospital over to the City of London. In recognition of the fact he spared the hospital, his likeness was installed above the entrance in 1702.

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