Thursday, 06 May 2021 04:53

Plans for a 11-foot bronze statue in Malmesbury submitted to Wiltshire Council Featured

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Plans to install a statue of Aethelstan, the first king of England in Malmesbury have been submitted.

The Aethelstan First King of All England Trust, which is heading up the project, has sought to place the 11-foot bronze statue and plinth in the beating heart of Malmesbury.

Working with the Abbey and Heritage England the trust said if planning permission is granted it will be able to raise funds for build and place the statue in Birdcage Walk.

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Barbara Pollard, who is leading the charity said: “This is a very special location because King Athelstan, who established England as a single nation and who is buried in Malmesbury Abbey, became attached to Malmesbury through his admiration from the Abbey’s first Abbot and his kinsman Aldhelm.

“Creating the statue will increase the focus on Malmesbury’s unique and internally important Anglo-Saxon heritage and the role Aethelstan played in uniting England.

“The proposal will also enable the Abbey team to fulfil a long-held ambition to increase the public benefit of the area so it can be more easily used for open-air services, exhibitions, performances and stalls for a range of community events.”

Initially, the group applied for listed building consent and full planning permission, but after conversations with planning officers withdrew the LBC as it did not apply.

The statue has been designed by Malmesbury artist, Paul Deacon who said while the design has tested public opinion, he feels they are well on their way to creating something exciting for the town.

Barbara said she hoped to have news on the outcome of the planning bid around mid-June.

Read this article on the Gazette and Herald here...

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