Skip to main content

Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Newbury Abbot Trent (1885–1953)

Sculptor born at Forest Gate, London. At about the age of 11, Trent was reportedly discovered drawing in the South Kensington Museum by the Department of Science and Art’s Director for Art (the painter Thomas Armstrong RA) who, recognising Trent’s talent, persuaded his parents to allow him to adopt him and train him as an artist (Trent was one of 11 children and Armstrong’s own son had recently died at about the same age as Trent was when he spotted him). Trent entered the Royal College of Art, c.1904, and subsequently attended the Royal Academy (RA) Schools (1909–1912; awarded Landseer Scholarship 1910). In 1911, he married Phyllis Ledward, the daughter of Richard Ledward and sister of Gilbert Ledward. Trent exhibited at the RA, the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, and the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts. His public sculptures include memorials to King Edward VII (the ‘Peacemaker’) in Brighton (1912) and Bath (1919); war memorials at New Barnet (1921), Beckenham (1921), Wanstead (1922), Ilford (1922), Tredegar, Wales (1924), and Wallsend (1924); the monument to Dean Pigou (d.1916), Bristol Cathedral; and architectural sculpture at the New Victoria Cinema (now Apollo Victoria Theatre), Wilton Road, London (1929); Gaumont Palace cinemas at Hammersmith (1932), King’s Road, Chelsea (1934), and North Finchley (lost) (1937); Cheltenham Cinema (1932–33); No. 3 St James’s Square, London (1933–34); and Adelphi Building, John Adam Street, London (1936–38). He was a member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors from 1914, and his studio from c.1916 was at 1 Beaufort Street, Chelsea.

Bibliography: T. Cavanagh, Public Sculpture of Kensington and Chelsea with Westminster South-West, Watford, 2023, pp. 56–57, 468, 469; R. Cocke, Public Sculpture of Norfolk and Suffolk, Liverpool, 2013, p. xiv; Mapping Sculpture; E. Morris and E. Roberts, Public Sculpture of Cheshire and Merseyside, Liverpool, 2012, pp. 38–39; Royal Academy of Arts website; J. Seddon et al, Public Sculpture of Sussex, Liverpool, 2014, pp. 24–25; D. White and E. Norman, Public Sculpture of Sheffield and South Yorkshire, Liverpool, 2015, p. 285; Who Was Who; relevant volumes of Pevsner’s ‘Buildings of England’.

Terry Cavanagh November 2022

Trent, Newbury Abbot

Newbury Abbot Trent, Bassano Ltd., whole-plate glass negative, 23 July 1921 (photo: © National Portrait Gallery, London)