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Lichfield City Sculpture Trail

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
Published October 25th 2015
Discover The Art On Your Street With New Sculpture Trail
A 'City Sculpture Trail' has been launched in Lichfield to highlight the many artistic treasures which the historic Staffordshire city has to offer.

The trail forms part of the wider "City of Sculpture Project", led by sculptor Peter Walker, which has been some ten years in the planning.

Lichfield Cathdral
Lichfield Cathedral is central to the City Sculpture Trail


The project was set up based around the idea of mapping the art of Lichfield and its surrounding towns, and followed discussions between Mr Walker and composer David Harper to create new work, exhibitions and events in the city.

A vital element of the project was the development of an easily accessible walking tour, which led to the creation of the City Sculpture Trail.

The trail, which can easily be completed in around two hours, even at a gentle pace, features around 20 sculptures. Along the route you can listen to "Soundscapes" - musical compositions dotted around the trail as an added enjoyment.

The Formation of Poetry, Lichfield City Sculpture Trail
The Formation of Poetry sculpture depicting Dr Johnson's dictionary


I chose to set off on the trail from the large Tesco's supermarket in the city, partly because the first work of art is situated on the edge of the main car-park next door to the Duke of York pub.

Entitled The Formation of Poetry, it was created by Peter Walker in 2010 to commemorate famous Lichfield literary figure Dr Samuel Johnson, by depicting the pages of his dictionary being blown open.

Spring Water Memorial, Lichfield City Sculpture Trail
The Spring Water Memorial refurbished for the Diamond Jubilee and Olympic torch


Then, as you come out onto Tamworth Street you can see the distinctive Spring Water Memorial, erected by parishioners and friends of The Rev JJ Serjeantson, who was Rector of St Michael's in Lichfield from 1868 to 1886.

The memorial was happily refurbished in 2012 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen, but also the passing of the Olympic flame on its way to the London Games.

Dr Samuel Johnson, Lichfield City Sculpture Trail
Dr Samuel Johnson in all his glory


From there you can walk down the hill to the main Market Square where statues reside to both Dr Johnson, created by Richard Cockle Lucas in 1838, and biographer James Boswell, by Percy Hetherington Fitzgerald.

Lichfield Cathedral, Lichfield City Sculpture Trail
Some of the dozens of sculptures on the front of Lichfield Cathedral


Turning right, I headed for the magnificent Lichfield Cathedral which has more than 100 statues, including kings and saints, adorned outside on the front, while inside the works of art including the Sleeping Children memorial by Sir Francis Chantry and the imposing high altar.

Lichfield City Sculpture Trail, Sailor Sculpture
The Sailor Sculpture in Beacon Park


Several sculptures can also be found within nearby Beacon Park, including the statue of Captain Smith of Titanic fame, which was created by Kathleen Scott in 1914, the Sailor Sculpure by Bridgeman, and the more recent stature of scientist Erasmus Darwin, created by Peter Walker in 2012.

Erasmus Darwin statue
The recent addition of the Erasmus Darwin statue


Among the other sculptures to discover on the trail are the colourful Dr Johnson Mosaic on Bird Street, made by John Myatt in 1976, and the Reading Girl situated inside Lichfield Library on St John's Road.

Dr Johnson Mosaic
The colourful Dr Samuel Johnson Mosaic


The first two inaugural sculpture walks around the trail took place in July this year as part of the Lichfield Festival 2015, and were immediately hailed a success. Around 40 people attended over the two 90 minute conducted walks which were led by sculptor Peter Walker himself.

More information on the Lichfield City Sculpture Trail can be found at www.thecityofsculpture.co.uk
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Why? Follow The Fascinating City Sculpture Trail In Lichfield
When: All year
Where: 19A The Close, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 7LD
Cost: Free
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