Robert the Consul

Robert the Consul on the chimneypiece of the Banqueting Hall, Cardiff Castle, carved” by Thomas Nicholls to instructions” by the architect William Burges. 1870s. Robert the Consul was the 1st Earl of Gloucester and the 2nd Lord of Glamorgan, the nobleman credited with having built the Norman keep of Cardiff Castle. The main figure on Nicholls's huge chimneypiece depicts this twelfth-century hero setting off on one of his exploits, gazing up at his wife as she waves from the ramparts of a castle, with heralds blowing their trumpets from the castle's ramparts. The scene makes a suitable centrepiece for the Banqueting Hall, which is in the early part of the building (see Williams 10). In keeping with Burges's usual practice of creating each room as an "autonomous unit, grafted on to — or hewn out of — a medieval structure" (Crook 278), the murals depict the Consul's various adventures as well. Nicholls was particularly good at sculpting animals, and has produced a fine, sturdy mount for the nobleman. Click on the image to enlarge it.

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Photograph, text, and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL or credit the Victorian Web in a print document.]


Crook, J. Mordaunt.William Burges and the High Victorian Dream. London: Murray, 1981.

Williams, Matthew. William Burges. Norwich: Jarrold (Pitkin Guides), 2007.


Last modified 8 December 2011