Prestigious National Award for our Gates!
Our magnificent West End Gates receive a national award.
Designed by Peter Preston of Manifest Design and unveiled by HRH The Duke of Gloucester in April 2018 our gates have received a national award announced last week at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Our Gates won the prize for Best New Ironwork Design in a Heritage Setting in a competition organised by the National Heritage Ironwork Group. The Gates have been much admired at the Church and reflect the Crimea Cannon from the Royal Artillery cap badge with other military objects in the lower panel, and then interwoven in the upper panels are the Flowers of Remembrance of the UK (the poppy) France (the cornflower) and Germany (the forget me not). Incorporated into the design are birds representing the larks who flew high above the carnage of the trenches in World War 1.
Our Gates were voted top of 22 impressive projects at a special NHIG event: Forging Ahead - at V&A - NHIG 10th Annual Conference - New Perspectives on Heritage Ironwork.
The Gates were designed by Peter Preston of Manifest Design Workshop Ltd of Eynsham Oxfordshire who describe the gates on their website:
The inspiration behind the design is the poem In Flanders Field by Lt. Col. John McCrae, which describes the poppies growing between the crosses marking the graves of the fallen. It also describes the larks singing and flying in the sky above the guns below.
The poem, and the poppy it describes, have since become the remembrance symbol for soldiers who have died in all conflicts.
Consequently, the decoration of the base of the gates is conceived as an architectural ‘trophy’, incorporating the 9lb gun from the Royal Regiment of Artillery’s Cap Badge.
Above this, the design diffuses into a wild flower ‘meadow’ composed of poppies, cornflowers and forget-me-nots. Poppies are widely recognised as the remembrance flower of the Commonwealth Countries, whereas the cornflower or ‘Le Bleuet de France’ is the national symbol of remembrance in France.
The forget-me-not is the (unofficial) symbol of remembrance in Germany. In this way, the composition acknowledges the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War (and the first Armistice Day) in 2018; and that whether friend or foe, every life lost is worthy of remembrance. Towards the top, two gilded larks will be concealed in the foliage – something that it is hoped visiting school groups might enjoy looking for, and which will enable the gates to be used as a teaching resource and engagement with local schools.
The gates were officially unveiled by HRH The Duke of Gloucester at the dedication service in April 2018.