Michael Rysbrack's brass statue of William III stands at the heart of Queen Square,
a green
haven not far from Bristol's busy City Centre. The square was named in honour
of Queen
Anne who visited Bristol in 1702. It was built on marshland reclaimed in 1699.
The North side and most of the West side of
the square were destroyed during the Reform
Riots in 1831, sparked by accusations from
the Recorder of Bristol that the city's citizens
were opposed to Parliamentary Reform. The
Customs House and Mansion House were
both burned down during the unrest. A new
Customs House was built in 1835-7. In 1936-7
the tranquility of the square was shattered
when a busy road was insensitively driven
right through the centre of it, though in 2000-1
the road was removed and the square
restored to its former serenity. Rysbrack's
statue of William III was cast in 1733 and
erected in 1736 and is based on the third century statue
of the philospher emperor
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus in Rome.