Goodman’s Fields Horses – London, England - Atlas Obscura

Six life-sized bronze statues show the freedom and movement of horses including splashes of water as they seem to gallop through the fountain. Some at first appear to be almost hidden between buildings with the horses in a number of different poses, including several that are in the large fountains that have a sequence of small splashes of water and lighting to provide the illusion of realistic movement as the horses gallop through the streets. 

The plaque reads “Having escaped from their livery stables, six horses gallop through the streets of London. Careering through crowds of pedestrians until they are brought to a halt by the traffic flow on Lemen street.”

The nearby Goodman’s Field has an interesting history, written by the London historian, John Stow in his Survey of London and published in 1598. It provides some insight into the area, which included, “a farm belonging to the said nunnery; at the which farm I myself in my youth have fetched many a halfpenny worth of milk, and never had less than three ale pints for a halfpenny in the summer, nor less than one ale quart for a halfpenny in the winter, always hot from the kine, as the same was milked and strained. One Trolop, and afterwards Goodman, were the farmers there, and had thirty or forty kine to the pail. Goodman’s son being heir to his father’s purchase, let out the ground first for grazing of horses, and then for garden-plots, and lived like a gentleman thereby.”

It was this written history that was the inspiration for Goodman’s Fields Horses, the sculptor, Hamish Mackie has portrayed the unbridled joy of horses being released from the toil of working in the London streets. He included six breeds of horse to illustrate the variety of horses from the past. 

Know Before You Go

The sculpture can be viewed at any time. It is on Piazza Walk, Goodmans Fields, between the Curzon Cinema and the Amazon Fresh convenience store. 

The nearest Underground station is Aldgate East, or from Whitechapel, which will pass past the fatberg manhole and the bell foundry. 

There is level access throughout, although there are randomly placed rocks and benches next to the unfenced water feature. 

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February 27, 2023

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