Emperor Nerva - Southgate Street, Gloucester, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 51.878 W 002° 14.802
30U E 551869 N 5746250
Quick Description: In 2002, Gloucester Civic Trust erected a bronze statue of Emperor Nerva, who is acknowledged as the founder of the city in around AD97. The equestrian statue was sculpted by the world-renowned Anthony Stones.
Location: Southern England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 3/21/2014 12:10:32 PM
Waymark Code: WMKCQG
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member condor1
Views: 8

Long Description:

The life-size statue of Emperor Nerva, on horseback, is located in Southgate Street in the city of Gloucester. Nerva is believed to be the founder of Gloucester just over 1900 years ago.

The beautifully sculpted equestrian statue shows Nerva on horseback wearing the clothes of a Roman soldier. His right hand is raised, possibly as a sign of acknowledgement or, perhaps, a salute. The bronze statue is mounted on a plinth that has plaques attached.

The "title" plaque is inscribed:

Marcvs Coggeivs Nerva

The Emperor
after whom Roman Gloucester was named
Colonia Nerviana Glevensis

The plaque at the other end of the plinth reads:

This statue of Emperor Nerva was sculpted by
Anthony Stones
Gloucester Civic Trust
as a millennium project to celebrate the 1900th
anniversary of the founding of the Roman town
as a Colonia, an army retirement centre, c AD97

The initiative for the statue was agift by a former
secretary to the trust, Peter Price, for a public art work.

It was unveiled on the 19th of October 2002 by
Alison Woolley
representing his family.

On the longitudinal sides of the plinth are two identical plaques. They have an image of what the town may have looked like together with the following text:

Roman Gloucester in AD 180
The town lies beside the Severn within the rectangular outline of an old army fortress; north is to the right. Imposing walls control entry to the town. Its defended area of 18ha is surrounded by suburbs.

In the middle of the town is the basilica (civic hall) and beside it is the forum (public open space). In 1969, during excavation of the forum, archaeologists found parts of an equestrian statue that was likely to have been of the Emperor who gave the town its founding charter.

Nerva, a distinguished lawyer, was over 60 when proclaimed Emperor in AD96. Civil administration was carefully nurtured and developed in his tolerant reign and many welcome social measures were initiated.

When he died in AD98 it was said nobody could have dome more for the empire in so short a time. People fo Roman Gloucester - Colonia Nerviana Glevensis - would have felt highly honoured that their town carried his name.

As an Emperor the statue shows Nerva in a conventional pose in military uniform.

The Gloucester Civic Trust website adds:

A stainless steel time capsule was incorporated within the statue’s hollow plinth, filled with items relating to the foundation of Roman Gloucester and to life in the present day city. We hope it will remain undisturbed for many centuries to come.


Identity of Rider: Emperor Nerva

Name of artist: Anthony Stones

Date of Dedication: 10/19/2002

Material: Bronze

Position: One Hoof Raised

Identity of Horse: Not listed

Unusual Features: Not listed

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BRISTOLIAN visited Emperor Nerva - Southgate Street, Gloucester, UK 7/4/2021 BRISTOLIAN visited it
reelcutter visited Emperor Nerva - Southgate Street, Gloucester, UK 3/8/2015 reelcutter visited it

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