Conqueror’s bust will be there for everyone to see

WilliamThe Conqueror
WilliamThe Conqueror

The man who created a bronze bust of William The Conqueror, which will be unveiled later this month, has told the Gazette about the project.

Peter Walker, a sculptor from Shrewsbury who is artist 
in residence at Lichfield Cathedral, was commissioned 
to create the artwork to coincide with the 950th anniversary of William’s successful invasion.

Berkhamsted Castle. PNL-140219-191607001

Berkhamsted Castle. PNL-140219-191607001

While 1066 is commonly associated with the Battle Of Hastings on the south coast, the English lords actually submitted to William at the site of Berkhamsted Castle.

Mr Walker told us about this mysterious figure who played such a decisive role in our nation’s history.

He said: “‘I was delighted to be asked to take on such a fascinating project.

“There are no portraits of William other than one from the 17th century, and even the few stone sculptures that exist are generic.

“No one actually knows what he looked like.

“However in researching him there is evidence he was a stocky, very powerfully built man and I have tried to give this sculpture a sense of his potency.”

Apart from aiming for historical accuracy, the bust also alludes to the English crown being taken by force by William.

His was the last successful invasion of England, and came immediately after King Harold had repelled a Viking invasion.

The bronze bust will be unveiled on the morning of Friday, October 14, and will remain on view at Berkhamsted Castle from midday until 3pm. It is hoped that the bust will eventually go on permanent display somewhere in Berkhamsted.