David McFall R.A. (1919 - 1988)


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1950/5 Zodiac  

Stone & cast aluminium  

9 ft diameter

The zodiac signs were carved individually

The Bristol Council house. 1935-1952. By Vincent Harris.

“INTERIOR: sparsely decorated in monumental manner and faced in plain ashlar; details include a central axial passage, and good lamps in the entrance lobby, which has a marble floor; complete original fittings throughout, those to the Committee Rooms being of particular note; horological clock in entrance hall; painted ceilings in the Council Room by John Armstrong on the theme of Bristol and its history, and in the Conference Room by WT Monnington on the theme of molecular and atomic fusion…  An important work by the most celebrated civic architect of the first half of the C20.” (The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: North Somerset and Bristol: London: 1958-: 413).


“It is a grade II* listed building. The concrete frame is clad with very wide, thin bricks, with Portland stone dressings and a leaded hipped roof in a Neo-Georgian style. The steep and high roof with gilded unicorns to the corners of the end blocks. The foundation stone for The Council House was laid in 1938 and the building was opened by the Queen in 1956. The ceremonial entrance overlooks the moat and leads into the reception hall which is lined with local Doulting stone and paved with black and white Italian marble. It also features a blue and gold wall clock, encircled by the signs of the zodiac and equipped with its own wind indicator. The Conference Hall is the largest room in the building. The names of all Mayors and Lord Mayors of Bristol since 1216 are cut into the stone walls. The walls of the Lord Mayor’s Reception Room are panelled in English Walnut and there is a colourful frieze displaying the heraldry of the Bristol trade guilds, and, in gold leaf, the names of famous Bristolians.”

A Zodiac is defined as:

1.     a. Astronomy. A band of the celestial sphere extending about 8° to either side of the ecliptic that represents the path of the

          principal planets, the moon, and the sun.

b. In astrology, this band divided into 12 equal parts called signs, each 30° wide, bearing the name of a constellation for which it was originally named but with which it no longer coincides owing to the precession of the equinoxes.

c. A diagram or figure representing the zodiac.

2.        A complete circuit; a circle.

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