An artistic stroll around Horsham
PUBLISHED: 17:01 29 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:58 20 February 2013
Horsham has some interesting and sometimes controversial public art. Here Sussex artist Patricia Hall takes us on a sculpture walk around the town, illustrated with her own watercolours.
Celebration of Life roundels
The Celebration of Life Roundels are in the middle of the Carfax on the back of the War Memorial. Both children and adults can enjoy identifying the many plants and animals depicted in the three sculptures, created by Edwin Russell.
The Swan Mosaic
The Swan Mosaic is also in the centre of Swan Walk. Two flying swans are depicted in a circular design. The swans are a reminder of The Swan pub which was at the West Street entrance of Swan Walk. The pub was demolished to make way for the shopping centre which opened in 1976.
Donkey and Cart Play Sculpture
The Donkey and Cart Play Sculpture in Piries Place is designed to be climbed upon. It was created by Lorne McKean. Piries Place is named after William Pirie who built a row of 15 cottages here which became known as Piries Alley. He was the head of Collyers School in Denne Road. He was often seen driving about the town in his donkey and cart. Collyers moved to Hurst Road in 1893 and is now a sixth form college.
The Swans in Swan Walk
The Swans in Swan Walk were also created by Lorne McKean to form a centrepiece for the Swan Walk shopping centre. This beautiful bronze sculpture shows three swans about to land. Tiny fountains over the webbed feat and tail of the lead swan give the impression that it is just hitting the water. The swans were removed in 2007 but reinstated in 2009 after a public protest supported by the local newspaper, the County Times.
The Shelley Fountain
The Shelley Fountain is at the bottom of West Street. Also known as Rising Universe, it is an unusual water feature which is spectacular when it rises up and drops 7 tons of water in a single cycle. It was created by Angela Conner in 1996 to celebrate the bicentenary of Horshams most famous poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. It forms a focal point for this area with seats and flower beds.
Horsham Heritage Sundial
Horsham Heritage Sundial is on the large open space known as the Froum between Blackhorse Way and Sainsburys. It was unveiled by HM the Queen in 2003. It is the work of husband and wife team Lorne McKean and Edwin Russell, together with Damien Fennell with historical information provided by the curator of Horsham Museum Jeremy Knight. If you look carefully you can see many aspects of Horshams history are depicted. A time capsule is buried in the stone plinth.
St Leonards Forest Dragon
St Leonards Forest Dragon is at the centre of a fascinating little maze in Horsham Park with its beautiful old trees, duck pond and lawns. Here you can find out more about local legends. There is also a childrens playground, the Pavilions (swimming pools and gym), the bandstand, a scented garden and the Conservatory Caf.
Patricia Hall was born in Eastbourne, the daughter of an architect.
A zoology graduate, she taught biology at Steyning Grammar School for nine years where she was also Head of Science. It was in Steyning that she started painting and married her husband Mike.
For the past 30 years she has developed a second successful career as an artist and publisher. Although she has no formal training in art she has sold more than 75,000 limited edition prints and many will be familiar with her greeting cards and calendars of Sussex.
She and Mike lived in the Horsham area for 20 years but now they live in Ferring, near Worthing.
The sculpture walk is an extract from her book on Horsham which is the first of a planned series of Armchair Walks in Sussex series. It is published by Patricia Hall Pictures (www.pathallpics.co.uk) and is 9.99.
How to get there
Horsham has its own mainline rail station and is served by many local bus services. It lies on the A281 Brighton to Guildford road, about a mile east of the main A24 north-south trunk route. The town is about 19 miles northwest of Brighton, 26 miles northeast of Chichester and 31 miles south of London.
Satnav: RH12 1HE (Horsham Museum)