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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Leonard Stanford Merrifield (1880–1943)

Merrifield was born in Wyck Rissington, Gloucestershire. After training as a stone carver, he attended Cheltenham School of Art. He then relocated to London, studying, firstly at the City & Guilds of London Art School under W.S. Frith and then at the Royal Academy (RA) Schools, where he won the Landseer scholarship and the Armitage prize. He initially found employment in Goscombe John’s studio, but by 1891 was working independently as a stone carver in Fulham. Merrifield showed regularly at the RA summer exhibitions from 1906. In 1913, he was one of ten sculptors selected by the Royal Society of British Sculptors to provide statues for Cardiff City Hall, his contribution being Williams Pantycelyn. He was elected a Fellow of the society in 1926. He executed numerous war memorials, including, in Cornwall, Newlyn (1920) and the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, Bodmin (1922); in Ireland, Comber and Holywood, both County Down (both 1922) and Lurgan, County Armagh (1928); in Buckinghamshire, Burnham (1920); and in Uttarakhand, India, the Garwhal Rifles (1923). Other public statues include Ellis Humphrey Evans, Trawsfynydd, Gwynedd, Wales (1923) and Richard Trevithick, Camborne, Cornwall (1928). Merrifield was at Stamford Bridge Studios, Fulham, by 1906, moving in 1912 to 116d King’s Road and finally, from 1924, 48 Glebe Place, Chelsea. During the Second World War he was a civil defence warden, and had been present at his local ARP post earlier on the day that he died. His memorial service at St Luke’s Church, Chelsea, was well attended by family members, local dignitaries, fellow artists and civil defence wardens. At the time of his death, he was working on a statue of Herbert Henry Asquith, 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith for the House of Commons. Merrifield’s marble statue, The Nymphc.1921, is in Chelsea Library, a gift from his widow to the Metropolitan Borough of Chelsea in 1946.

Bibliography: T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 59–60; Mapping SculptureWelsh Historical Sculpture: Welsh Historical Sculpture presented to the City of Cardiff by Lord Rhondda of Llanwern … on the 27th October 1916, Cardiff, 1916; Who Was Who.

Terry Cavanagh November 2022