Licoricia of Winchester – her story unveiled

Residents and visitors to Winchester will be better informed about the significance of one of the city’s most recently erected statues, thanks to the installation of a permanent information board unveiled, on behalf of The Licoricia Appeal, by the Chairman of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Patricia Stallard

Dec 15 2023

Licoricia of Winchester Appeal trustees with Hampshire County Council Chair Councillor Patricia Stallard, unveiling a new information board explaining more about the adjacent bronze statue of Licoricia of Winchester

The information board explains the history and story behind the life-sized bronze statue of a prominent medieval Jewish woman, Licoricia, and her son, located in front of The Arc on Jewry Street.

Licoricia was a leading businesswoman and mother in Winchester’s 13th century Jewish community. Despite being widowed twice, she successfully brought up her family, conducted her business and prospered in a hostile society.

Councillor Stallard said: “I am delighted to formally mark this important installation telling Licoricia’s fascinating story. The statue of Licoricia and child is a beautiful work of art but understanding a little more about her life through the interpretation board unveiled today transports the reader to another time and impresses on them what a leading figure she was.”

Maggie Carver, Chairman of The Licoricia of Winchester Appeal, said: “We are very glad to put up Licoricia's information board, which responds to popular demand. Her message of 'love thy neighbour as thyself' is needed today as much as ever. We are also glad to gift the statue to Hampshire County Council as this will ensure her long-term future.”

The information on display also paints a picture of the history of Winchester’s Jewish community and their royal connections in the 1200s.

Councillor Stallard continued: “Licoricia was a major financier to Henry III and his Queen, Eleanor, and the information explains that the bronze Licoricia is holding a tax demand from the King in one hand and her child’s hand in the other – balancing work with motherhood, like so many women today.

“As Chairman this year, my focus is on protecting our heritage because we can learn so much from the past to help us live better lives today, and in the future, as we strive for a better Hampshire for all.”

There is also a QR code for those who wish to further explore Licoricia’s story and this period in Hampshire’s history.

The statue – designed by award-winning sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley, with the artwork organised and funded by the Licoricia of Winchester Appeal – is aptly positioned on Jewry Street, the historic centre of the city’s Jewish community, as well as the street where Licoricia was known to have lived.