Skip to main content

Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Dame Louisa Brandreth Aldrich-Blake

Sculptor: Arthur George Walker (1861-1939)

Designer: Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944)

Materials: Bench and pillar in Portland? stone; the two busts, staff and snake, plaques in bronze

Inscription: The path of the just is as a shining light (garden side); glorious is the fruit of good labour (road side)

Erected: 1926

Listed: Grade II (1378970 ) 14.05.1974

Dame Louisa Brandreth Aldrich-Blake

Dame Louisa Brandreth Aldrich-Blake DBE (1865–1925) in 1895 became the first woman in Britain to be awarded the degree of Master of Surgery. She had an impressive career in London as surgeon at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital (1910-1925) and at the Royal Free Hospital. In 1914 she was appointed Dean of the London Medical School for Women, a post she held until her death. During WWI she served in France with the Women’s Unit under the Anglo-French Red Cross. She was also a skilled boxer and cricketer.

The memorial, designed by Edwin Luytens (1869–1944), stands in the south-east corner of Tavistock Square and consists of a semi-circular stone seat with a pillar rising from it in the centre, which features two identical portrait busts of Dame Louisa holding a book (one facing the Square, the other the road). Each side of the pillar is decorated with a staff and snake (the Rod of Asclepius) symbolising medicine. Bronze plaques on the pillar give details of her career and bear inscriptions.

Location: Tavistock Square, Bloomsbury, Camden, London WC1.