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The Queen's Beasts tour the UK

— August 2012

Associated media

A fearsome beastie tours the country. Sculpture by Tom Hiscocks, Photograph Greg Hider

Reincarnations of the famous Coronation-inspired heraldic sculptures are going on a UK Diamond Jubilee tour

A stunning contemporary interpretation of the original Queen's Beasts stone sculptures, which guarded the entrance to Westminster Abbey on the Queen's Coronation Day on 2 June 1953, is touring across the UK.
The new 'Beasts' are ten life-size majestic creations that include The Lion of England, The Unicorn of Scotland and The White Horse of Hanover. They represent the genealogy of Queen Elizabeth II, and have been created by the artist Tom Hiscocks.

Although the original sculptures were made of stone, Hiscocks chose to show his passion for recycling and identifying changes over time by remaking the Beasts using recycled metals and drinks cans.  It took around 2,000 hours, 3,000 drinks cans, a fire extinguisher, car bumpers and headlamps along with other recycled materials to recreate these inspirational creatures.

The artist explained:

When I visited the beasts in Kew Gardens, I had a strong sense that their spirits were compromised by the way they were represented. They said: ‘We’re stuck in poses that were for a particularly formal occasion 60 years ago. We have evolved. Can you help?’

The project is sponsored by Ball Packaging, the world’s largest producer of drink cans and major promoters of metal recycling. The company aims to encourage the public to recycle drinks cans, which can be recycled endlessly.

Those who visit the sculptures will also have a chance to win a digital Nikon camera, with five runners-up receiving a copy of a special The Queen’s Beasts book, signed by Tom Hiscocks. To have a chance at winning, entrants simply need to send a photo of their favourite beast and name it. For more details on how to enter the ‘Name the Beast’ competition, visit

Tom Hiscocks’ The Queen’s Beasts tour dates:
A full list of dates and times can be found at

The Queen’s Beasts
The original stone beasts are at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, but copies of them are situated outside the Palm House at Kew Gardens.

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