In 1999 I designed a garden with three sculptures and a sundial for Ribchester’s Millennium Commitee to celebrate the Millennium. The Garden was designed to allow the annual Field Day procession to pass through on a central paved pathway.
The structure and hard landscaping in my design make reference to the village’s Roman past.
At the entrance are 6 columnar yew. Below left a photograph of the garden 3 years after planting in 1999, and right in 2019, a photograph of the mature hedging and 6 columnar yew plants.
The Ribchester Column was inspired by Trajan’s Column in Rome and is decorated with images from Ribchester’s past, from the 1st-centrury AD to the present day.
The Ribchester Column. 2000.
Column in French limestone, base in Portland limestone.
Overall height 1.6m
Photo above was taken in 2000 at the installation of the Ribchester Column, and below is a photo taken in 2019 showing the matured columnar yews and hedging. The Millennium Garden was designed to be tended by the village community and Ribchester is doing a magnificent job!
Two large vertical panel carvings stand along the central path like Roman way markers, each within a distinct bay of yew hedging that both protects and frames the sculpture.
The Pig, the Ribber and the Devil.
Overall height 1.6m. Photo Michael Finch.
This panel depicts a regional folk tale when a local man (the Ribber) out smarted the Devil, and a story from the 1970’s that is the origins of the local expression when impressed: “put the pig on the wall to watch the marching band!”.
The second panel combines a celebration of generations of a local family that arranged flowers at St Wilfrid’s Church, the “flowers” are designs from 19th century textiles. The architectural details are from buildings around the village.
Celebration of Community. 2001
In the central seating area is a Sundial designed to tell “Ribchester time”, it marks the fact that the railway never came to the village and therefore there was no requirement to use GMT.
It is decorated with a story told by the local Water Baliff.
Photo Michael Finch.