Statues and memorials in London: Henry Purcell

There are so many statues on the streets of London that it is easy to just ignore them as they blend into the background. One of my projects for this year is to begin to record them and find out about the people they commemorate.

The first offering is Henry Purcell, whose monument stands at the junction of Broadway and Victoria St in Westminster.



Henry Purcell was born in Westmisnter in 1659. His father was a member of the choir of the Chapel Royal and his uncle an established composer. Henry attended Westminster school and began composing music from an early age. He was appointed Copyist at Westminster Abbey in 1676 and 3 years later became the Organist. In 1682 he also took on the duties of organist at the Chapel Royal which he combined with his post at Westminster Abbey. He died in 1695 aged 36 in his home in Dean’s Yard Westminster, having lived in the area around the Abbey for his entire life. He is buried next to the organ in Westminster Abbey. Despite his short life he produced a large portfolio of sacred and non-sacred music and is renowned as one of the great English composers of the Baroque era.


Henry Purcell by Unknown. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

The monument is by Glynn Williams and was erected in 1995 to celebrate the tri-centenary of his death.

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