statue of our lady of the avenue at Stonyhurst

Our Lady of the Avenue


It depicts Mary, as defined in the Book of Revelation,

"And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun,

and the moon under her feet,and on her head a crown of twelve stars.


The Statue of Our Lady, also known as 'Our Lady of the Avenue' was installed in 1882. It was inspired by

the statue on the 1857 Colonna della Immacolata in Rome, near the Piazza di Spagna

which celebrated Pope Pius IX's declaration of the Immaculate Conception.



The figure stands on a globe which is decorated by the symbols of the Four Evangelists.

tetramorph angel   tetra lionp> 

tetra eagleptetra bull




The halo of twelve stars was newly made,

as the Lady Statue's was missing, and gilded

with 23 carat gold which is far more durable than gold paint

Our Lady hair and stars   m6 rear view down avenue



Extract from the dedication and blessing of the statue of

Our Lady of the Avenue Saturday 25th May 2019


The Lady Statue and plinth were gifted to the College by Thomas Eyre, the brother of Stonyhurst Rector, Fr William Eyre (whose generosity had paid for the construction of the South Front of Stonyhurst). Thomas Eyre donated É200 for the monument as a thanksgiving for his preservation in a serious carriage accident The statue was designed by Edward Hansom, the architect of the South Front, and cast in Paris. The first record of its presence at the College was on December 8th 1882, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

The Stonyhurst Lady Statue is made of cast-iron, not bronze. She is cast in two pieces, the globe and the figure, which are bolted together. The structure is supported by an internal iron armature, which gives strength to the rather brittle cast iron exterior.

Over a year ago, it became obvious that there were serious structural problems with the ageing armature, and it was essential to carry out urgent, specialist conservation. The task was undertaken by Rupert Harris, an international expert in sculpture conservation who works for the National Trust, and for museums and collectors all over the world. She was taken down to his studio and foundry in East London, where a new steel armature was made. The globe on which the statue stands was in very poor condition and required numerous internal braces to strengthen it. The figure of the angel on the front of the globe was missing, and a new figure was modelled and cast, based on the statue in Rome.

Traditionally, cast iron statues are painted to look like stone or marble, and the Lady Statue was given a fresh coat of paint as the last part of the conservation process. The paint is not only decorative, it protects the iron from the effects of rain, hail and snow. The paint used on our statue has been carefully toned to resemble white Italian marble. She will need a new coat every twenty years. The halo of twelve stars was newly made, as the Lady Statue's was missing, and gilded with 23 carat gold which is far more durable than gold paint This work has been made possible through the generous donations of Stonyhurst alumni, specifically, Lawrence Leong OS 82 and the de St John-Pryce family, the family of Lt Col. James de St John-Pryce OS 96 and Winton de St John-Byce OS 99.




Our thanks to Louis one of the installers who took pictures with our camera from the top of the scaffolding on a wet day..