Richard the Lionheart - Old Palace Yard, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 29.938 W 000° 07.534
30U E 699508 N 5709232
Quick Description: The Richard the Lionheart (Richard Coeur de Lion) statue stands in Old Palace Yard towards the southern end of the Palace of Westminster in the centre of a private car park. The Chris de Burgh record "Crusader" springs to mind with this statue.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 11/3/2015 11:51:06 AM
Waymark Code: WMPXB2
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member marvin1226
Views: 11

Long Description:

The Lyrics website has the lyrics to "Crusader" by Chris de Burgh:

"What do I do next?" said the bishop to the priest,
"I have spent my whole life waiting, preparing for the feast,
And now you say Jerusalem has fallen and is lost,
The king of heathen Saracen has seized the holy cross;"

Then the priest said "Oh my bishop, we must put them to the sword,
For God in all His mercy will find a just reward,
For the noblemen and sinners, and knights of ready hand,
Who will be the Lord's Crusader, send word through all the land,
Jerusalem is lost,
Jerusalem is lost,
Jerusalem is lost;"
"Tell me what to do", said the king upon his throne,
"but speak to me in whispers for we are not alone,
They tell me that Jerusalem has fallen to the hand,
Of some bedeviled eastern Heathen who has seized the Holy Land;"

Then the chamberlain said "Lord, we must call upon our foes
In Spain and France and Germany to end our bitter wars,
All Christian men must be as one and gather for the fight,
You will be their leader, begin the battle cry,
Jerusalem is lost,
Jerusalem is lost,
Jerusalem is lost"
Ooh, high on a hill, in the town of Jerusalem,
There stood Saladin, the king of the Saracens,
Whoring and drinking and snoring and sinking, around him his army lay,
Secure in the knowledge that he had won the day;

A messenger came, blood on his feet and a wound in his chest,
"The Christians are coming!" he said, "I have seen their cross in the west,"
In a rage Saladin struck him down with his knife,
And he said "I know that this man lies,
They quarrel too much, the Christians could never unite!
I am invincible, I am the king,
I am invincible, and I will win..."
Closer they came, the army of Richard the Lionheart,
Marching by day and night, with soldiers from every part,
And when the Crusaders came over the mountain and they saw Jerusalem,
They fell to their knees and prayed for her release;

They started the battle at dawn, taking the city by storm,
With horsemen and bowmen and engines of war,
They broke through the city walls,
The Heathens were flying and screaming and dying,
And the Christian swords were strong,
And Saladin ran when he heard their victory song;
"We are invincible, God is the king,
We are invincible, and we will win!"
"What do I do now?" said the wise man to the fool,
"I have spent my whole life searching, to find the Golden Rule,
Though centuries have disappeared, the memory still remains,
Of those enemies together, could it be that way again?"

Then the fool said "Oh you wise men, you really make me laugh,
With your talk of vast persuasion and searching through the past,
There is only greed and evil in the men who fight today,
The song of the Crusader has long since gone away,
Jerusalem is lost,
Jerusalem is lost,
Jerusalem is lost
Jerusalem."

The statue of Richard the Lionheart (Richard I) is Grade II listed with the entry at the Historic England website telling us:

Statue of Richard I G.V. II Equestrian statue. 1860 by Baron Marochetti. Bronze equestrian statue on granite pedestal with bronze bas-relief panels.

Wikipedia has an article about the Richard Coeur de Lion Statue that tells us:

Richard Coeur de Lion is a Grade II listed equestrian statue of the 12th-century English monarch Richard I, also known as Richard the Lionheart, who reigned from 1189–99. It stands on a granite pedestal in Old Palace Yard outside the Palace of Westminster, facing south towards the entrance to the House of Lords. It was created by Baron Carlo Marochetti, an Italian sculptor whose works were popular with European royals and the nobility, though often less well regarded by critics and the artistic establishment. The statue was first produced in clay and displayed at The Great Exhibition in 1851, where it was located outside the west entrance to the Crystal Palace. It was well received at the time and two years later Queen Victoria and Prince Albert headed a list of illustrious subscribers to a fund that aimed to raise money for the casting of the statue in bronze.

Although the money was duly raised and the bronze cast of the statue was finally completed in 1856, a lengthy dispute delayed its installation for several years. The original idea had been to erect the statue as a memorial to the Great Exhibition. This prompted opposition, as did proposals to place it outside Charles Barry's newly completed Palace of Westminster. Various other locations to display the statue were initially considered before agreement was reached that it would be placed in Old Palace Yard, Marochetti's preferred location. It was installed in October 1860, though it was not until March 1867 that it was finally completed with the addition of bronze bas-reliefs on either side of the pedestal.

The quality of the statue's workmanship caused problems during its first half-century; the horse's tail fell off the day after it was installed at the Great Exhibition, and forty years after its installation it was discovered to be riddled with holes and to have never been properly attached to its pedestal. It narrowly escaped destruction during the Second World War when a German bomb dropped during the Blitz landed a few metres away and peppered it with shrapnel. The pedestal and the horse's tail were damaged and Richard's sword was bent by the blast. In 2009, the Parliamentary authorities undertook a project to conserve and restore the statue.

Musician: Chris de Burgh

Name of Song: Crusader

Relevant Verse:
Closer they came, the army of Richard the Lionheart, Marching by day and night, with soldiers from every part, And when the Crusaders came over the mountain and they saw Jerusalem, They fell to their knees and prayed for her release;


Location website: [Web Link]

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