Statue - 'Joyance'

Thompson's Park's best known feature is 'Joyance', originally a bronze statue by Sir William Goscombe John, of a boy playing with a jet of water. This was commissioned by Charles Thompson and was installed in 1899 as the centre-piece of a small ornamental pond at the south end of the Park.[1]

The earliest photograph is on a glass side taken in 1904:-

Joyance statue in Thompson's Park 1904

Joyance statue in Thompson's Park 1904

Many of the early postcards of Thompson's Park show 'Joyance' and the fountain.

In 1927 the statue was found lying on the ground near the pond:

The boyish figure of the Fountain of Life once more rains its cooling cascades over the floral pond at Thompson's Park, Cardiff's quietest and, in some ways, most charming retreat. Serene and secure now, this allegory in bronze by Sir Goscombe John, the famous Welsh sculptor, has recently had its repose rudely disturbed. One morning a few months ago the keeper found the statue lying prostrate, but intact, on the ground...[2]

'Joyance' has been stolen from the pond on several occasions. In 1973 the stolen statue was replaced by a replica, created by copying a similar statue owned by the National Museum of Wales.[3]

'Joyance' was stolen again on the 31st July 2010. A plastic replica was put in its place in February 2011.

Joyance and ornamental fountain

'Joyance' and the ornamental fountain c.1985 ©Terry Caveney

Joyance and ornamental fountain

'Joyance' and the ornamental fountain October 2015

The pond's water supply came from the miniature lake but could also be topped up from the water main. Since 2012/13 it can only be filled from the mains water supply.[4]

Sources of information

  1. A. A. Pettigrew, The Public Parks and Recreation Grounds of Cardiff, Volume 5, Chapter on Sir David's Field.
  2. Western Mail Saturday May 28th 1927 page 13
  3. Meeting of the Parks Committee 5th February 1973
  4. Personal communication (PH)