Tuesday, 26 October 2010
King Billy's Statue at Mutton Cove
The statue that stands beside the dockyard at Mutton Cove, known as King Billy, is of William IV who reigned between 1830 and 1837. The statue was originally a figurehead on the 120 gun warship, 'Royal William'. The ship was converted to steam in 1859 and the figurehead was replaced with a smaller one. The original figurehead was then placed at the southern end of the dockyard where it has remained a landmark for many years after. The replacement figurehead cost the Admiralty £35. It no longer exists because the ship it was on, later renamed Clarence, was destroyed by fire in 1899 while it was a training ship moored on the Mersey.
In the 1990s, the figurehead at Mutton Cove was deteriorating fast so it was decided to make a fibreglass copy which now stands in place of the original.
The original wooden figurehead has now been restored and stands along with other preserved figureheads at Black Yarn Stores at Devonport Dockyard.