Who let the sheep out?

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This bronze sculpture of a herdsman driving his sheep to market (Paternoster) was created by Elisabeth Frink and is located in Paternoster Square in London, close to St Paul’s cathedral.

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Badly bombed during WW2, the area was re-built after 1961 to a plan by William Holford. That development wasn’t popular and was demolished in 1996 and then re-built to a design by William Whitfield.

The statue was commissioned for the original post-war Paternoster Square complex in 1975 and was replaced on a new plinth following the redevelopment. It probably commemorates a livestock market in the area. However, Paternoster means “our father”, and the shepherd and his flock are used symbolically in Christian belief, so given the proximity to St Pauls I wonder whether it is meant to have some religious meaning?

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