Sculpture Saturday: Scott of the Antarctic in Cardiff

Mosaic sculpture Antarctic 100 erected in Waterfront Park, Cardiff, to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the polar expedition which left from Cardiff in 1910 led by Captain Scott. The sculpture is by Jonathan Williams and it was erected in 2003. 

It is perhaps fitting that this sculpture stands in front of the Nordic Church which once tended to the needs of the Norwegian sailors who sailed into and out of Cardiff Bay.

It was difficult to get a good picture of this sculpture because it had been surrounded by metal gates as a security measure and there was no way to get into the compound.

Captain Robert Scott’s trip to the South Pole which claimed his life and that of four more explorers left from Cardiff 110 years ago. His ship, the Terra Nova, sailed from the city’s docks laden with 100 tonnes of coal, 300 tonnes of fuel made from coal dust mixed with bitumen, as well as pots and plans from the Llanelli tin works.

His ship was cheered on by thousands when it set sail from the Welsh capital on the afternoon of 15 June, 1910. Three years later, thousands joined Scott’s widow Lady Kathleen and young son Peter to welcome her back.

Caption Captain Scott

In March 1912, Scott and his companions died just 11 miles from a supply depot having made it to the South Pole in January of that year only to find that Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen had beaten them to it. Edgar Evans and Captain Titus Oates had earlier lost their lives.

10 thoughts on “Sculpture Saturday: Scott of the Antarctic in Cardiff”

  1. I’ve recently visited Cardiff and this sculpture was fenced off once again. I actually like it, although before reading up on it I guessed it had something to do with winds. Loved the Norwegian church as well, was impressed with the whole area. Hoping to get back to Cardiff at some point before we are moved on by the army to the next post. Always so many places, so little time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I want to go back to Cardiff as well, as I was only there on an overnight trip. I was amazed at how much there was to see. I know The Mumbles area well plus a bit of Swansea as my brother-in-law lived there and we visited twice a year and I spent a week in N. Wales on a course but everyone spoke Welsh so I didn’t get much from that! Cardiff I liked.

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  2. I’d like to have seen it before they enclosed it. It’s represents a sledge being hauled by the men, their faces trapped in the ice, the Ice cave and the tent. I couldn’t see this until read the description!


  3. While giving it bonus points for use of unusual material, I would describe it as “interesting” rather than giving it a more enthusiastic adjective.

    Puzzled as to what it actually represented, I found the short description here useful.

    Was there any indication as to why it was fenced off? I read that the BLM protestors have it in their sights.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I visited this in early March this year, just before the lock-down and panic began (remember those happy days?) so I don’t think it can have been fenced off because of the BLM protests.


    1. I hope problems overcome but I had an email this am which scared the daylights out of me when it said “BT is now closing down your Mini Hub and Broadband backup”. Another long session on the ‘phone but turns out this is what they installed temporarily. I do wish they could be more helpful with their explanations!

      Liked by 1 person

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