The statue of Peace in Smithfield with its secret sign of fidelity.

As I mentioned in passing on my post on Smithfield Market the area hasn’t just got a millennia long relationship with animal markets and executions.  It was also a place where men in Victorian times would bring their unwanted wives to swap them with other men, divorce being both monetarily expensive and a social faux-pas.


The statue of peace at Smithfield.

Around the same time, the area was falling into a state of filthy dilapidation and the square at West Smithfield was remodelled to include a small public garden.  The centrepiece of the garden was and still is this beautiful statue of Peace.


J. B. Philip, sculptor of the station in 1873

Mr Philip was a devout Christian and didn’t want anyone to question the morals of the lady he sculptured and so he fitted a gold wedding ring to her finger and made the statue in such a way it can’t be removed.  It’s hard to imagine some people even caring about their reputation in person these days, let alone of the reputation of a figure of a lady who is simply a statue.


It’s actually almost impossible to see in person and in the photo above it is impossible to see.  I suppose it had to be made almost inaccessible to avoid it being taken, even by those few who know it is there in the first place.


I’ve been here many times and I took these photos early on Thursday morning enjoying the peace and beauty as the meat traders cleaned up from their night shift just a minute away; much as I imagine people have done here for the last 150 years.



About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including several #1 sellers. I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. I run my private tours company with one tour stated by the leading travel website as being with the #1 authentic London Experience. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
This entry was posted in history, Life, London, Travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

A blog is nothing with out feedback, please give me some!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s