Thomas Fowell Buxton design of the Monument
The designer of the monument is Mr Peter Loizou of Weymouth College, when he was a student at the college. He now holds a lectureship at the College transmitting his skills and experience to a new generation.
It is proposed that the monument be erected on Bincleaves Green, Weymouth near the SW path and Redcliffe View
In developing the design, Peter wished to have a monumental style which would have been current during the height of Buxton's career. Peter was also mindful of the need to incorporate techniques that would be taught during the course. This meant that students assisting in building the design could do this as part of their course and would not have to give extra time.
The general outline of the monument comprises an obelisk and ball standing on plinth, the whole surrounded by a pavement. A ramp and twist border would flank the South side of the pavement, while two quatrefoils would flank the North side.
The sides of the obelisk and plinth carry carvings and inscriptions. This is the current plan of their positions on the monument
On the North West side, a cameo portrait of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton
On the North East side the crest of his coats of arms (a buck's head, described on the home page of this website)
On the South East side an inscription 'MP for Weymouth 1818-1837, Baronet 1840'
On the South West side, an inscription 'Liberator 1833, Abolitionist, Social Reformer'
On the Plinth
North West (facing the South West Path), the words: Thomas Fowell Buxton (1786 - 1845)
North East (facing the Nothe Fort) is inscribed his motto 'Whatever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy Might', a quotation from Ecclesiastes.
South East (facing the Coastguard Station) is a representation of Belfield House, where Buxton resided for many years
South West (facing Redcliff View) a carving representing two elephants, one Indian, one African trampling a funeral pyre. One elephant is tearing apart some manacles, the other a hangman's noose.
The fine carvings on the monument are shown here:
The elephant symbol represents Buxton who was given the nickname of ‘the Elephant’ by his family when in his ’teens as he was so tall.
The elephant carvings are on the South West face of the plinth and the symbolism encapsulates three of Buxton’s achievements: the abolition of slavery, the reduction of the number of capital crimes and the abolition of the custom of suttee whereby in India a widow would be burned alive on her husband's funeral pyre.
The inscriptions are also very fine, with examples shown below
Locals and Tourists frequent the Green in large numbers during the summer months. During the other months of the year, in good weather they will take advantage of the fresh air and excellent sea views. They will see the obelisk and its plinth as they approach the Green. If they pause to walk around the monument and read the imformation board, they will see a fascinating narrative of one of Weymouth's most illustrious MPs