History in Structure

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Statue of Dr William Price

A Grade II Listed Building in Llantrisant, Rhondda Cynon Taff

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »
Street View
Contributor Photos »

Street View is the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the building. In some locations, Street View may not give a view of the actual building, or may not be available at all. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.

Coordinates

Latitude: 51.5423 / 51°32'32"N

Longitude: -3.3745 / 3°22'28"W

OS Eastings: 304776

OS Northings: 183499

OS Grid: ST047834

Mapcode National: GBR HN.G5WQ

Mapcode Global: VH6DX.GHDH

Entry Name: Statue of Dr William Price

Listing Date: 21 December 2017

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 87767

Building Class: Commemorative

Location: In the centre of the Bullring in Llantrisant.

County: Rhondda Cynon Taff

Community: Llantrisant

Community: Llantrisant

Built-Up Area: Llantrisant

Traditional County: Glamorgan

History

Dr William Price (1800-1893) was born in Rudry, Caerphilly and educated locally before becoming apprenticed to a local surgeon and then attending the medical school at London Hospital in Whitechapel. He was made Member of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1821 and returned to South Wales setting up practice in Pontypridd, becoming surgeon to some of the major industrial works in the area. At the Newbridge Chainworks he established a service where workers paid a subscription for health care, predating the establishment of Medical Aid Societies.

The social change brought about by the industrialisation and population growth in South Wales led Price to develop interests in Welsh nationalisms and druidism. He set himself up as a druid figure and helped to establish eisteddfod events and druidic ceremonies, some at the Rocking Stone above Pontypridd. He also became increasingly anti-establishment in his view and became a figure in the chartist movement.

In 1871 he settled in Llantrisant and married a 21 year old. In August 1883 she gave birth to a son who was named Jesus Christ but died at 5 months of age. Price attempted to cremate the child on East Caerlan hill overlooking Llantrisant. The awareness of the practice of cremation had increased since the establishment of the Cremation Society in 1874 but the actions of Price caused public outrage and he was tried in Cardiff on the basis that cremation was illegal. His defence was that although cremation was not legal it was also not illegal and he was acquitted. He died in January 1893 and was cremated. His beliefs and actions helped raise the profile of cremation and eventually, firstly with the Cardiff Corporation Act of 1894 and then the 1902 Cremation Act, cremation was legalised.

The statue was created by Peter Nicholas (1934-2015) and erected in 1982. Peter Nicholas studied at Cardiff Art School and the Royal College of Art. He was also responsible for the statue of Ivor Novello in Cardiff and that of Eddie Thomas in Merthyr Tydfil. The Price statue was commissioned by Taff Ely Borough Council in 1980 with advice from the Arts Council of Wales.

Exterior

Statue of a standing male (William Price) with his arms outstretched ‘blown by the winds of adversity’. Dressed as a druid with a fox skin hat, cloak, a sword on his hip and holding a crescent moon in his left hand and a torch in his right hand. The figure stands on a boulder representing the Pontypridd rocking stone and facing to East Caerlan. Statue set within a circular brick base, flat top with conical outer ring. Slate panel to E side ‘Innovator of Modern Cremation’ around the depiction of a funeral pyre, then ‘Dr William Price. 1800-1893. Surgeon Chartist. And. Self Style Druid. Sculptor Peter Nicholas. Supported by the Welsh Arts Council. Unveiled by the Mayor of Taff Ely. Councillor George Preston 3rd May 1982. AP Isaac’.

Reasons for Listing

Included for its special historic interest for its commemoration of an important historical figure who was central to the legalisation of the practice of cremation in C20 Britain, and for its special architectural interest as a good example of the work of one of the more prominent creators of public sculpture in Wales in the late C20.

This structure has been afforded Interim Protection under the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. It is an offence to damage this structure and you may be prosecuted.

To find out more about Interim Protection, please visit the statutory notices page on the Cadw website. For further information about this structure, or to report any damage please contact Cadw.

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.