Manual Ref* NFklKL004 Show 6 images 393

Captain George Vancouver RN

County Norfolk   District Council King's Lynn 
Civil Parish or equivalent King's Lynn  Town/Village* King's Lynn 
Road Purfleet Quay 
Precise Location Close to the Custom House on the North side of the Quay 
OS Grid Ref TF615200  Postcode PE30 
Previous location(s)  
Setting Quayside near the Custom House  Access Public 
Artist/Maker Role Qualifier
Penelope Reeve  Sculptor(s)   

Commissioned by

The Vancouver Committee 

Design & Constrn period


Date of installing


Exact date of unveiling



Abstract Animal Architectural
Commercial Commemorative Composite
Free Functional Funerary
Heraldic Military Natural
Non-Commemorative Performance Portable
Religious Roadside, Wayside Sculptural
Temporary, Mobile Other  

Object Type

Building Clock Tower Architectural
Coat of Arms Cross Fountain
Landscape Marker Medallion
Mural Panel Readymade
Relief Shaft Sculpture
Statue Street Furniture War Memorial
Other Object Sub Type:

Subject Type

Allegorical Mythological Pictorial
Figurative Non-figurative Portrait
Still-life Symbolic Other

Subject Sub Type

Bust Equestrian Full-length
Group Head Reclining
Seated Standing Torso
Part Material Dimension
Statue  Bronze  H 180 cm x W 74 cm x D 77 cm 
Plinth  Westcoast Canadian granite  H 94 cm x W 122 cm x D 121 cm 

Work is

Extant Not Sited Lost


Borough council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, Bryan Howling and with a contribution of £5,000 from the City of Vancouver 

Listing status

Grade I Grade II* Grade II Don't Know Not Listed

Surface Condition

Corrosion, Deterioration Accretions
Bird Guano Abrasions, cracks, splits
Biological growth Spalling, crumbling
Metallic staining Previous treatments

Structural Condition

Armature exposed Broken or missing parts
Replaced parts Loose elements
Cracks, splits, breaks, holes Spalling, crumbling
Water collection Other


Graffiti Structural damage Surface Damage

Overall condition

Good Fair Poor


No Known Risk At Risk Immediate
Signatures/Marks Penelope Reeve 2000 
Inscriptions Captain George Vancouver RN 1792. On plaque To the memory of Captain George Vancouver RN, born King’s Lynn 1757; died Petersham 1798; The great navigator and surveyor; from 1791 to 1795 Vancouver precisely charted many thousands of miles of the Northwest Pacific coast line, from San Diego California to Anchorage, Alaska. ‘To King George III: Captain Vancouver was not just deserving the honour of trust reposed in him and that he has fulfilled the objectives of his commission from you majesty with diligence and fidelity.’ John Vancouver. This plinth is of stone from the Pacific West Coast of Canada. Erected in the year 2000 

Description (physical)

Bronze statue of Captain George Vancouver shown with scrolled papers offered up in his right hand and a telescope in his left, looking out to the west. The statue is mounted on a rough-finished granite block acquired by Bryan Howling from Squamish in Britshi Colombia, and set on Purfleet quay with anchors and chains behind. The quay was restored in 2000 including a compass - NFklKL0038 -at the end of the quay. 

Description (iconographical)

The statue commemorates George Vancouver's role in charting the Northwest Pacific coastline from San Diego California to Anchorage Alaska from 1791-5. The captain is depicted in naval dress possibly as though presenting his plans to King George III who commissioned the venture. A full-life bronze statue of Captain Vancouver, by Charles Marega, had been commissioned to stand outside the newly built Vancouver City Hall in 1936. In 2000 Parks Canada commissioned the abstract Gate to the Northwest Passage by Vancouver based sculptor Alan Chung Hung near the Vancouver Maritime Museum near the opening to False Creek. rephotographed 29/09/2013; entry revised 10/03/2017 


Date taken:  28/7/2006
Date logged:  1/8/2006

Photographed by:
Sarah Cocke

On Site Inspection

Date:  28/2/2007

Inspected by:
David Hulks

Sources and References accessed 20-May-07 (minutes of Council Meeting held 28-Apr-1998) / accessed 21-May-07 / accessed 21-May-07 (Brian Howling's Tour of King's Lynn) accessed 07/11/2009; information from Brian Howling 10/03/2017 


Date entered:  20/5/2007

Data inputter:
David Hulks