This bronze statue is by Leslie Cubitt Bevis (1892-1984) and was cast at the Morris Singer foundry. It’s also quite unusual for modern times, as the face and hands have been gilded.
Around his neck is the crucifix he wore to the scaffold at the Tower of London, and on his knees, a gold collar, decorated with a Tudor rose, modeled on a collar that King Henry VIII gave to Sir Thomas More.
His signature is cast in the base, enlarged and taken from one of his documents, and on the stone plinth, three sides have Scholar, Statesman and Saint carved into them. He was canonised by the Catholic Church in 1935.
The location is significant as its close to the riverside estate that Sit Thomas More owned and next to the church where he regularly worshiped.
The statue was unveiled in July 1969, with Dr Horace King, Speaker of the House of Commons, with Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of Westminster, and the Moderator of the Free Church in attendance.
At the ceremony they stressed the need for religious tolerance and freedom. Dr King said of Saint Thomas, “he died that we might worship God in our own way.”
His head is turned slightly upriver, said to be looking at his final journey to the Tower of London.