'The Seven Ages of Man' - Atlas Obscura

'The Seven Ages of Man'

A totem pole of heads to represent the different stages of life. 


London’s Brutalist office building known as Baynard House near London Blackfriars is home to a unique cast aluminum public sculpture by Richard Kindersley titled The Seven Ages of Man.

The sculpture’s title refers to a passage from William Shakespeare’s play As You Like It: “All the world’s a stage, / And all the men and women merely players. / They have their exits and their entrances, / And one man in his time plays many parts, / His acts being seven ages.”

This intriguing sculpture, resembling a totem pole with sculptural heads, stands as a testament to the passage of time and the stages of life. These include: infant, schoolboy, lover, solider, justice, pantaloon ( or old fool) and finally old man. Commissioned by Post Office Telecommunications, the sculpture was unveiled in April 1980 and remains a captivating presence at the site.

Know Before You Go

The sculpture inhabits an unloved courtyard on the level above the Baynard House car park on Queen Victoria Street.

The sculpture is partially visible from street level opposite the Church of Scientology. It can be accessed by stairs or ramp. It's best to go during daylight hours. 

The nearest stations are Mansion House and Blackfriars.

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August 17, 2023

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