Tuesday, 27 July 2021 07:41

Plans for King Aethelstan statue in Malmesbury withdrawn Featured

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PLANS to install an 11-foot tall bronze statue of Aethelstan, the first king of all England have been pulled.

Trustees of the charity, Aethelstan, First King of All England Trust put in the planning bid early this year.

But due to “mixed reactions” to the plans to install the King Aethelstan statue at Birdcage Walk in Malmesbury have been pulled.

Chairman of the trust, Barbara Pollard said it was important to the trust to try to have the whole community on board.

“Although wide consultation had previously taken place resulting in a pre-application approval, in principle, from Wiltshire Council with support from Historic England, comments had been received from HE and some members of the public that required a rethink.

“The trustees are conscious of the broad and enthusiastic support for the project and invite suggestions for any preferred alternative location.”

Mary Frostick, echoed the sentiment of many objectors, stating that the reasons given to remove the three silver birch trees in the area were “not sufficient”.

She did, however, ask if a statue of Elmer the Monk could be placed there instead with a larger Aethelstan statue installed elsewhere in the town.

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Malmesbury Town Council made no objections to the trust’s plans and the town’s civic trust gave its support to the bid.

“It is absolutely right that we should commemorate a person who was so important to the history of the town as well as a famous Anglo-Saxon king who deserves to be much better known,” said John Saunders.

“It is a pity if any trees have to be cut down to install the statue and they should be replaced elsewhere. I for one would volunteer to plant them.”

Paul Brian Buckley said: “ It would be a heinous crime to remove growth which has taken over thirty years to mature providing pleasure to many and replace it with a statue of a man whose likeness is not known, which will provide no amenity or educational value, made of materials which are totally unsound.

“This is an awful stupid idea which must be scrapped forthwith.”

Others in favour of the statue believed that the installation of a statue commemorating the historic king would attract more people to the area and championed that the work would be by a local artist.

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

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