These children were born in 1788 in Eleanor Coade’s artificial stone factory at Kings Arms Stairs, Narrow Wall, Lambeth, now the site of London’s Festival Hall. They were purchased by the first church school in Leicester, St Mary de Castro Parochial School, and now stand in the reception corridor of St John’s Primary School also in Leicester.
Eleanor Coade was a remarkable business woman and she perfected the manufacture of artificial stone that became known as Coade Stone.
Coade Stone statues and architectural decoration made in the 18th century, just like these children, still look almost new.
Eleanor moved from the factory in Narrow Row to Great Surrey Street (which became Blackfriars Road) in 1811. She never married but was always referred to as Mrs as was the custom for women in business at that time.
She died in 1821 in Camberwell Grove, Cambewell, London.