John Radcliffe statue
The new statue of John Radcliffe

Greg Smolonski

New statue of John Radcliffe unveiled

A two-metre high bronze statue of Dr John Radcliffe has been unveiled in front of the Radcliffe Observatory building at Green Templeton College.

To celebrate the tercentenary in 2014 of Radcliffe’s death, the Ashmolean Museum, with finance from the Radcliffe Trustees, commissioned Martin Jennings to make a larger-than-life-size bronze sculpture of Radcliffe to stand in front of the Observatory, which is known as “the Tower of the Winds”.

Professor Denise Lievesley, the Principal of Green Templeton College says: “It is a great honour that the Ashmolean, through the generosity of The Radcliffe Trust, has commissioned this sculpture to stand in front of the Radcliffe Observatory, the focal point of our College.

“We are especially proud to give a home to this masterpiece by Martin Jennings which adds John Radcliffe to his works of consummate art sited in prominent public places to celebrate the lives of luminaries in our history.”

John Radcliffe (1653-1714) was the most successful physician of his day and the doctor to the likes of Queen Anne. After his death in 1714, the bulk of his fortune was left to his Trustees for charitable purposes.

This has been used for three iconic Oxford buildings: the Radcliffe Camera, the Radcliffe Infirmary in Woodstock Road, and the Radcliffe Observatory.

Martin Jennings works in Oxfordshire and his previous sculptures include John Betjeman in St Pancras Station, George Orwell outside Broadcasting House and Charles Dickens in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth.

The statue is inside the College grounds but it will be also visible from the corner of the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter.

A bronze maquette of the statue is now on display in the Ashmolean Museum.