Around the exterior of the mansion are wonderful groups of statues. Most of these have been relocated by subsequent owners from their original and intended locations, but they remain impressive objects and each tells a story – either of its own or of the owners who changed and shaped Wimpole, much of which we are still learning about today.
Samson slaying a Philistine – the lead statue is a copy by Andrew Carpenter of Giambologna’s famous 16th-century marble original, and shows the Biblical hero Samson poised to kill the Philistine crouching at his feet with the jawbone of an ass. In the Old Testament, Samson slays an army of a thousand men in this way.
Carpenter worked with James Gibbs on Wimpole, and the group is one of the important survivals from Philip Yorke’s collection. It stands in an area called ‘Cain and Abel’s Garden’ by the 4th Earl, as the sculpture was until recently mistakenly known.