Loughborough Sculpture, Art & Architecture Trail

Loughborough Sculpture, Art & Architecture Trail: A virtual walkaboutLoughborough, taking in public sculptures, art and some beautiful buildings! Snippets of info about the items in question accompany each picture. Devised and created by lynneaboutloughborough.

Introduction

Let's start our walk in Queen's Park, which is situated on Granby Street in Loughborough, and which also has entrances on New Street and Brown's Lane, as well as an exit into the Granby Street car park. If you're arriving by car, the postcode for your satnav is LE11 3DU, and there are plenty of car parks in town if you can't park on the roadside in Granby Street, or if the paying car park on Granby Street is full.

There's loads of things to see in Queen's Park, which was created in 1899 in celebration of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. Over the years it has changed and developed into the extremely beautiful gardens you see today, and is a vibrant contestant in the Loughborough In Bloom competition, is the setting for many public events, and houses the Charnwood Museum, formerly the town's swimming baths.

If you've come in through the New Street entrance, and if you look up from almost anywhere in the park, you will see:

The Carillon


This War Memorial, designed by the architect Walter Tapper, was created in 1923, of local, Tuckers' bricks, uses steel from the local firm of Herbert Morris and was built by the local building firm of Moss. The Carillon Tower is also a museum, housing two floors of exhibits and memorabilia relating to the armed services. The spectacular musical instrument that is the Carillon, is played from the chamber each Thursday and Sunday afternoon and can be heard from all around the town. The bells are rung by the levers being struck by the Carilloneur, using both hands and feet, which makes the bell clapper hit the bell, producing a most wonderful sound. There are 47 bells, each one inscribed with a memorial to service personnel who lost their lives during the First World War. The bells were created by the local bellfounding company, Taylors.

If you didn't walk in through the New Street entrance to the park, walk away from the Carillon, towards New Street, over the little stone bridge, past the children's park until you get to the striking entrance gates. To the left of these you will see:

The Silhouette of a Bell Interior and Bell Clapper at the New Street entrance


The Bell Clapper is one of three sculptures that were created in 2013 by students of Loughborough University School of Arts. These were originally situated outside the Charnwood Museum, but since this commission by Charnwood Borough Council is now a regular event, either the sculptures are removed, or they are re-located elsewhere in the park or town, to make room for the next year's offerings.

As you walk back down towards the Carillon, you will see, on both sides of the path, some beautifully laid out:

Olympic flower beds


There are five little displays, representing the five Olympic rings (originally said to represent the colours present in all the flags of the participating nations, and now also representing the five continents): If you're visiting in summer, it's an exciting display to experience.

Before you get to the little bridge, turn right along the path, keeping the pond to your left. You'll pass a small area cultivated by some local schoolchildren on your right, and then you'll see the bowling green. This is still used in the summer season, April through to October, and it's fun to watch the bowlers when they're having a match. Just beyond the bowling green, you'll see a decorative iron "cage": You've reached the:

Swan maze


The swan maze sculpture was created in 1992 by a local sculptor, David Tarver, to commemorate 100 years since the incorporation of the borough (which was actually in 1888). The maze is beige coloured slabs interspersed with red gravel, and the aim is simply to follow the route to the swan in the centre of the wrought iron gazebo.


The carved swan, on a raised stone plinth, is accompanied by three cygnets and a frog.

Leaving the swan behind, head off left, towards the Charnwood Museum.

We're not going to go into the museum today, but just so you know, it's a very exciting place to visit, with dinosaurs you can walk on, talking ladybird chairs you can sit on, and a selection of exhibits from all eras, from nature, geology and the industrialised age. There are also a couple of rooms housing temporary, regularly changing exhibitions. And it's FREE!

Beside the museum is the café. Interestingly, there's a small mosaic on the floor, and in front of the patio you can see a:

Lamppost

This is not just any ordinary old lamppost!!! This is a Hardy and Padmore lamppost which used to be outside the Great Central Railway. Hardy and Padmore were a company based in Worcester who produced wrought iron work, including benches, fountains, manhole covers and fire surrounds, but their speciality was decorative lampposts, including the dolphin ones on the Thames Embankment in London. Apparently, there used to be a row of lampposts like the one above, in Loughborough Market Place, but at some time these have been replaced with more modern ones. This particular lamppost, which was originally at the GCR, and was later in Biggin Street,  was found abandoned behind the aviaries in the park, and was lovingly restored and given a prominent new home!

We're going to leave the park now, so walk past the front of the museum, and notice:

The Railings on the entrance ramp outside Charnwood Museum


This unusual railing on the ramp leading to the museum was created by Hilary Cartmel, a figurative sculptor who studied at Nottingham Trent Uni and works in metal. The railing certainly adds interest to the entrance and entices you into the museum.

If you turn from the museum and face the ponds, you will see the original position for the annual sculptures I mentioned above. In the first year, these were the:

Olympic Swimmers' Legs - 2012



which were created by students of Loughborough University, in 2012 and celebrated the Olympics being held in London. The artists,  Lucy Buzzacott, Mike Jones and Abi Ross, focussed on the synchronised swimmers and devised three different sculptures actually in the pond, that represented this Olympic event. When the swimmers were replaced by bell sculptures the following year, the swimmers' legs could be seen above the fence of the park warden's enclosure!

In 2013, the sculptures created were all bell-related, and heralded the positioning in the park of the:

Cast of the Great Paul Bell 


The local bellfoundry, Taylors, were responsible for creating the Great Paul Bell for St Paul's Cathedral in London in 1881, and the original bell casting had been on display in the Market Place for a short while a few years earlier, in 2011. It was decided by public vote that the bell cast would be put on permanent display in Queen's Park and in preparation for this, three bell-related sculptures replaced the synchronised swimmers.

Silhouette of a Bell Interior and a Bell Clapper - 2013



Tuning Forks - 2013

A stack of bells - 2013



The above three bell-related sculptures were created by Loughborough University student, Ian Tricker.

The year 2014 has a special significance to many people, as it was 100 years since the start of the First World War, which lasted until 1918. The bell-related sculptures in Queen's Park were this year replaced by a set of three war-related sculptures by Amelia Seren Roberts, which represent denial, anger and the acceptance of loss. They were unveiled on 2 June 2014.

The War-related Sculptures - 2014







We're now going to leave the park and wander into the town. Let's go out of the park through the entrance onto Granby Street that's nearest the museum. The building you can see in front of you is the public library which was built in 1903-5, with a donation made by the wealthy Scottish industrialist, Andrew Carnegie. To the right of the entrance to the library is the subject of our next stop, the:

Pinau Statue


This statue is "The boy with the thorn" and was presented to Charnwood Borough Council by its twin town of Epinal in May 1957. The "Boy with a thorn" is Greco-Roman Hellenistic bronze sculpture of a boy withdrawing a thorn from the sole of his foot and copies of this appealing sculpture can be found across the world. At one time, during the 1980s, ours went missing, and he was found, abandoned, a couple of years later by a former Loughborough University student, in a brook in Yorkshire.

Continue walking down Granby Street and cast a glance on the wall of Whalley's Fine Clothes, on the corner of Granby Street and Packe Street:

Green man tile on the wall of the Whalley's Fine Clothes, menswear shop


This is a stunning example of a green man carved in relief. This green man features quite a lot in Loughborough buildings, for example, on the side of Sprint, the printers on the corner of Packe Street and Frederick Street, on MG Hair on Ashby Road, and on the former Stag and Pheasant pub on Nottingham Road.

When you get to the end of Granby Street where it joins Devonshire Square, turn right into Devonshire Square, and take a look at the:  

Devonshire Square mural


This mural was created to add interest to a rather boring 1960s row of shops, by Silent Hobo, aka Wei Ong. This was unveiled in December 2014, so it still rather new, and still attracts much interest, especially as people try to identify various motifs in it that represent Loughborough.

From here, retrace your steps down Devonshire Square into Cattle Market, where you will see the:

Odeon Cinema


The Odeon Cinema, which was designed by Francis C. Haynes, was built in 1914, and was given a new façade in 1929. This art deco façade, which still exists today, was designed by Hurley Robinson of Birmingham in 1936. It is currently an Odeon Cinema, but over the years has been The Empire, The New Empire, The Essoldo, and the Curzon. The art deco façade is tiled in Hathernware tiles, a glazed terracotta tile produced by the Hathern Station Brick & Terra Cotta Company.

Continue along Cattle Market and next to the Odeon you will find the:

NatWest Bank building

I'm sure most towns have a NatWest bank, but do they all have such a spectacular gothic style arts and crafts building as the one that houses ours? This was designed by the Nottinghamshire born and bred architect Fothergill Watson, and is very typical of his work, which tends to include stripes of red and blue bricks, and elaborate carvings and turrets. Many of Watson Fothergill's buildings are in Nottingham itself and include offices, banks, warehouses, churches and private houses.

Continue down Cattle Market and head into Market Place. When you come to Town Hall Passage on your right, take a peek at the murals on the wall: I've not included a photo as my camera is not suitable for taking a decent picture, but do stop and have a look at them.

From Town Hall Passage walk back into Market Place, and head towards the:

Sockman


This spectacular sculpture, made of bronze, was created by Shona Kinloch in response to a call for entries to a competition instigated by the Borough Council for a piece of art to represent the town and its history in celebration of the pedestrianisation of the Market Place, in 1998. The Sockman fitted the brief perfectly, as he represented Loughborough's involvement in the woollen, hosiery and knitwear industry that was so much a part of the town's history. And, around the base, in low relief, are loads of images that represent even more of the things that have been important to the town over the years.   

When you've looked at all the images on the base of the Sockman, turn to face the Town Hall, with its interesting clock.

Town Hall and clock


The Town Hall was erected as the Corn Exchange in 1855, but the clock was donated by Mr Farnham from Quorn (possibly George Francis) in 1879. Do stand under the clock and look up at it: it is deliberately angled so that it can be seen from both ends of the town. At the very top, you can see the bell. Today the Town Hall is an art gallery and a theatre, with a small café upstairs, as well as housing the Mayor's Parlour.

Continue on down Market Place, and you will come to the:

Fearon Fountain

This fountain was erected in 1870 when Loughborough received its first piped water supply. It was donated by Archdeacon Henry Fearon who had campaigned for a clean water supply, which would put an end to outbreaks of cholera in the town. The fountain, created by James Forsyth, has polished marble basins, lions head spouts, and is Grade II listed. It was renovated in 1981 by local sculptor, David Tarver, and underwent further restoration in 2014. Brass plaques laid on the floor surrounding the fountain represent Loughborough's twin town connections.

Turn to face the shops opposite the fountain and look up at the shop next to Boots, which is currently unoccupied:

Recently Etams, Top Shop and Restored

This decoration above the first floor windows of the shop is known as the Three Lunettes relief, and is made of terracotta. The left hand and right hand panels are identical and are eight dancers, whilst the one in the middle shows the musicians playing a violin, a cello, a lyre, a flute, a recorder, and cymbals, together with a conductor. It is thought that these scenes were created by George Harry Cox in the early twentieth century.

Turn around and look towards, but don't get too close to:

Lloyds Bank

Lloyds Bank occupies the corner of Market Place and High Street. The building was built in 1907, to a design by, I believe, Arthur Ernest King, an architect working in Loughborough at the time. The building has been enlarged on each side, and until very recently the entrance was on the High Street side. Rather fittingly, the entrance, which was in the centre of the building, making it rather symmetrical, has now been reinstated as the main entrance. The inside of the bank has changed quite dramatically since 1907, and very little ornamentation from that time has survived. Outside is, however, a different story.

The building is constructed of red brickwork (probably made by a local brickmaker, like Tucker), and is decorated with Hathernware terracotta. Above the entrance there is a parapet upon which are terracotta urns, carved dolphins and an allegorical female figure. In one hand the figure is holding a scroll, in the other a moneybag. Well, actually, as late as 2008 she was holding a moneybag, but more recently it would appear that sadly she has lost both the bag and the lower part of her arm.

For more information about Lloyds Bank in Loughborough please visit my blog.

Exit the Market Place, and head right, up High Street, continuing until you reach its junction with Wood Gate. Turn right into Wood Gate and stop opposite the Organ Grinder pub. Look at the corner where it joins Packe Horse Lane and you will see the: 

Milestone outside the Organ Grinder (formerly The Old Pack Horse)

The milestone outside the Organ Grinder pub suggests that Nottingham is 18 miles away, and Loughborough is 9 miles away from this spot! Clearly this isn't the case! Apparently, the milestone appeared here mysteriously one night during the time that Harry Sheffield was the landlord (so between 1912 and 1938), and probably came from Shardlow. Incidentally, Derby is buried beneath the tarmac!

Walk back down Wood Gate, and turn left into High Street. Continue down High Street until you get to the junction with Market Place and Baxter Gate, where on the corner you will see:

Denhams, the jewellers

This building is an example of Art Nouveau architecture (often called arts and crafts in Britain) and is faced with beige terracotta, with intricate detail in terracotta on the upper floor. There is also an egg and dart frieze above the first floor windows.

Carry on walking down Baxter Gate, and just a few shops further down you will see a tattoo parlour:

Tattoo parlour on Baxter Gate (formerly Pork Farms)

This tiled floor shows that this building was once a butchers shop, being part of Pork Farms, a Nottingham company.

We're dipping and diving around a bit, but if you re-trace your steps down Baxter gate and turn right past McDonalds and Burtons, and then turn right again into Biggin Street, you will see the:

Church Gate entrance

Church Gate was pedestrianized around the 1980s and is one of the only streets not to be widened during the street widening scheme of the early 1930s, so it retains its Mediaeval width. Church Gate was the first street in the town centre to be tarmaced in 1890.

Carry on walking up Church Gate, and when you reach the top, cross over the main road, continue along the next leg of Church Gate, past the White Hart and the Three Nuns pubs, until you see the:

Parish Church and Swithland Slate gravestones


The church was originally dedicated to St Peter and St Paul, before becoming known as All Saints, and today, it's All Saints with Holy Trinity. Many of the memorials in the churchyard are made from Swithland slate, a local material, which was quarried from around the Swithland area, and is also used for roof tiles on many town centre buildings, and on several of those which surround the church. The church is not normally open other than at service times, and a couple of mornings a week, but inside you can see work that has been done on the:

War Memorials

A Heritage Lottery Fund grant was received by a group of local folk to, amongst other things, move the war memorials into a more prominent position within the church. The picture above shows the alabaster figures which were in the process of being renovated: these have now been given pride of place on the North wall of the church.

From the church, walk along Church Gate, keeping the church on your left, walk past the Windmill Inn (probably the oldest inn in the town) on Sparrow Hill, and stop outside numbers 62A-65A, Merrin Court:

Merrin's the Bakers on Sparrow Hill


Here, look near the doorway of number 65A, and if it hasn't been too windy and the floor isn't covered in leaves, you will see what used to be the bakery.

The walk from this point to the next point is quite a distance, so let's retrace our steps, and go past the Windmill Inn, around in front of the church (or you can go through the churchyard and come out onto Steeple Row), turn right onto Steeple Row, and follow this all the way along. You will walk past the Old Rectory and continue along what becomes Rectory Place until you meet the junction with Bridge Street to the left, and Toothill Road to the right. At this junction turn left and use the first pedestrian crossing to cross to the other side of Bridge Street. Walk down Bridge Street, crossing over Limehurst Avenue, until you can see the Travelodge in front of you. Here, turn into Canal Bank and after the car parking area associated with the hotel, turn left onto the pedestrianized area. You have now reached:

Loughborough Basin, terracotta balls










I've included some pictures here of the terracotta balls that adorn the Basin area, although, I have been unable to establish who created them, and exactly what they signify. However, I have had more success with the:

Loughborough Basin, mosaics


These mosaics, which are meant to look like port holes, were created in 2012, by students of the RNIB College in Loughborough: the first represents the old semaphore style railway signals, the second a railway wagon, the third a bird (I can't quite tell if it's a duck or a swan) and the final one represents a boat. These are all images of things that would have been important in this area at one time or another.

From the Basin, walk back along Canal Bank, cross at the crossing and head back into town, along The Rushes. If it's not too busy, stop so you can see the word Car Park in the tarmac in the middle of the road. Here, if you look carefully you can see the:

Granite cross on Swan Street


The cross is carved into Mountsorrel granite and is a memorial to commemorate one of the places where a Zeppelin bomb hit the town on 31st January, 1916. Several people were killed, and a number injured in the four raids that took place. Below is another granite cross which is placed in another location that was hit by a Zeppelin bomb that same evening.

Granite cross on Empress Road


Quickly get back onto the pavement, before you get run over!! There should be a set of steps in front of you now, which lead to The Rushes shopping area. There's also a ramp next to the steps. Please head up to The Rushes, walk through the supermarket canopy, and stop in front of:

The Signaller

This sculpture is partly made of cor-ten steel, which reacts and weathers with the environment and thus would look differently if placed in another town. Pieces of what look like garment templates are bolted together to form what looks like a person. John Atkin, the creator of this sculpture has created works for a wide variety of countries and projects.

Continue walking through The Rushes shopping area and when you get to the end, turn right and follow Biggin Street until you meet up at the pedestrianized edge of Market Place. Here, please turn right and stop outside the former:

Loughborough Echo Offices

This building, designed by local architect E.J. Allcock, was built specifically for the Loughborough Echo in the late 1920s/early 1930s when many of the town centre's streets were widened (the exception being Church Gate). The logo in the middle of the top floor of the building is a horseshoe with Loughborough painted on it, and encloses "The Echo Press Ltd" and also has EST 1891 inscribed on it, which represents the date the newspaper started. The white faience frontage is Hathernware, and beneath the square white wooden pillars are two egyptianate columns. Loughborough town centre was almost like an advertising ground for the Hathern Brick and Tile Company, so there are many buildings in the town which use these tiles. You've already seen The Odeon Cinema in Cattle Market, but there is also the building which is now Beacon Bingo, on the corner of Baxter Gate and Lemyngton Street, which was originally the Odeon Cinema, opened in 1936, with the film "Mr Deeds goes to town" starring Gary Cooper.

Beacon Bingo, formerly The Odeon

From the former Echo Offices, take the wide road - called Derby Square - just beyond the entrance to Carillon Court, the shopping centre, and Tylers, the department store. Walk along this road, and observe the:

Mural on the entrance to Carillon Court car park


This is a relatively new addition to the art work in town, and at the moment I have no information about it to share with you. However, back in 2013, a local artist, Dan Smith, created a spray paint mural of a train on the side of the offices of a local house letting agency, and also one on the side of the pizza restaurant that opened in the former pub, The Crown and Cushion (incidentally, the site of another Zeppelin bomb raid), both of which you will see if you continue to walk up Derby Square. So, perhaps this mural is also by Dan.

Now that you have reached the top of Derby Square, turn back and walk down Market Street, from where you have a wonderful view of the Town Hall. Continue along Market Street until you get to the entrance to Carillon Court on your left. Take the passage into Carillon Court, stop by the steps and look up to the:

Clock and bell above Cino's Café in Carillon Court


Loughborough's connection with bells continues!! If you happen to be standing under the clock on the hour, you will hear it play and chime!

From here, retrace your steps out of Carillon Court, turn left and almost immediately right. This will take you through a small passageway by the side of the 99p shop, and if you continue through the passage under the car park, you will arrive onto Granby Street, facing the Granby Street car park.

I hope you've enjoyed this walkaboutLoughborough, looking at some of its art and buildings. There are also some great things to look at outside of the town centre, some of which I have listed below.

Some other items of interest in the town centre include:
  • The Co-operative logo on the front of The Laughing Buddha, 3 Wood Gate.
  • The Oddfellows badge on the front of the International Supermarket on Sparrow Hill.
  • The carved inscription on the millwrights at 58 Sparrow Hill.
  • The carved plaque on Chesteron House at 2 Rectory Place.

Further out of town you will find:

Ceramic tiles at the railway station

Bastard Gates at the entrance to the university

Dishley millennium mosaic


Shelthorpe totem pole


The athletes on the A512


Others:

The university has a rich collection of sculptures, and I believe a sculpture trail.

Charnwood College has a collection of sculptures representing the signs of the zodiac.

If you want to know more about the Zeppelin raids on Loughborough which took place on the night of 31st January 1916, take a look at the Zeppelin trailIf you want to know more about the the Luddites and lace-making in Loughborough, take a look at theLoughborough, Luddites and Lace Trail. 

If you want to know more about the wonderful market town of Loughborough, it's past and present, pop over to the blog.


You are welcome to quote passages from any of my walks, with appropriate credit. The correct citation for this looks as follow:

Dyer, Lynne (2017). Loughborough Sculpture, Art & Architecture Trail. Available from: http://lynneaboutloughborough.blogspot.co.uk/p/loughborough-sculpture.html [Accessed 29 April 2017]

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Thank you for reading this blog and I hope you enjoyed this walk. 

Lynne 

4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Christine! I did this one quite a while ago, so it probably needs updating - when I get time!!! Lynne

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  2. This looks like a really cool trail, will have to give it a go when I am in the area. Thanks

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  3. Hi AA! Thanks for looking at the trail and taking the time to comment - most appreciated! I shall have to make sure it's quite up-to-date before you pop along and try it out! There are other things to see, too, depending upon what time of year you visit. So, for example, we have some wonderful book benches that make an appearance in October for the Loogabarooga Festival! Enjoy. Lynne

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If you have found this post interesting or have any questions about any of the information in it do please leave a comment below. I might not be able to answer immediately, but I will reply as soon as possible. Thanks for reading the blog.