Swansea 'devil' effigy, Quadrant Shopping Centre

Swansea ‘devil’ effigy, Quadrant Shopping Centre

swansea_devil_effigyAbove the entrance to the Quadrant Shopping Centre is a Victorian sculpture, reputedly depicting “Old Nick” – aka the devil. If you’ve just scanned the QR codes by the doorway, take a few paces back and look up to see the wooden effigy.

According to local legend, the effigy was ordered by an architect who was furious because his design for the rebuilding of St Mary’s Church, Swansea, had been rejected. Sir Arthur Blomfield of London got the job, and the work was undertaken from 1895 to 1899. The rejected architect bought land near the church so that he could erect a new building with an elevated perch for the devil effigy to glare forever at the church.

Another school of thought is that the effigy depicts the Greek deity Pan, who is associated with the countryside and shepherds. He is usually depicted with goat horns on his head and sometimes with an animal’s tail.

Buildings in the vicinity, including the church, were badly damaged by aerial bombing in the Second World War, but the effigy survived intact. It was removed after the war by antiques dealers.

In the early 1980s, local historian Rowley Davies appealed for information about its location. As a result, the carving was removed from storage in Gloucestershire and put on display at the Quadrant.

Postcode: SA1 3QW    View Location Map

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