Bosworth 1485 Sculpture Trail
The Battle of Bosworth was one of the most significant battles in English history and the recent discovery and reinterment of Richard lll one of the most widely reported stories globally. There remains a remarkable interest in the story and fate of Richard lll, the victory of Henry Vll and the birth of the Tudor dynasty.
This Sculpture Trail will create a world quality visitor experience spanning the fields and communities of southwest Leicestershire, comprising a series of six significant works of art commissioned to mark the events of 1485 and the subsequent history and impact. It will complement the stories told at the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre and the Richard lll Visitor Centre. Connected by a trail at its full length of 18K (walking) or 21K (car/ cycle), the works of art aim to be accessible to as wide an audience as possible, linking in closely both with the locations pivotal to the Battle and more recently the communities involved in the reinterment of Richard lll.
What will the Trail achieve?
A cultural resource in the historic landscape which articulates the events of August 1485 in an interactive and participative way and brings this history into the present day. Collectively the installations and the Trail itself tell the story through sculpture and interpretation; individually each artwork will become a significant new attraction and provoke dialogue and debate not only about the past but about themes and issues relevant today.
The Trail will create an important new cultural and tourism destination for local people and visitors, increasing direct economic benefit to the area, plus complement and bring trade to Bosworth Battlefield and Leicester attractions.
It will enhance local pride and community cohesion in the rural communities of Shenton (on the Trail route) Sutton Cheney, Dadlington, Stoke Golding and Market Bosworth and for urban areas such as Hinckley and Leicester.
It will provide an all-weather and all season outdoor recreational facility, open daily, with opportunities for group, family and individual activities, encouraging participation as part of social prescribing and active health initiatives.
The Trail will facilitate improved infrastructure in local hospitality, beverage and food services, shops, taxi and other transport providers.
What will the sculptures look like?
Each of the six installations will be built to the highest standards and made to last around 50 years. Each will be different, created to suit its setting and its place in the story. Interpretation will be the result of research and development between the communities and local schools with the commissioned artists, to represent each stage of the story. Proposals have been developed as the starting point for this collaboration and co-curation. The first installation, at Sutton Cheney church, will represent contemplation on the eve of the Battle, (The Calm before The Storm). The second (The Storm Breaks) represents the battle site and the third, at Stoke Golding, Henry’s victory. Dadlington church, where the remains of many of those who fell in the battle are believed to be buried, will be the site of an artwork about healing and reconciliation and Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre will display an artwork representing archaeology and Digging up the Past. The Trail ends in Market Bosworth, highlighting the local market place, and a place where people in the past and the present come together for debate, storytelling and performance.
Who is involved?
The project is supported by the Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council, Richard lll Society, Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre, Parish churches of Dadlington, Market Bosworth and Sutton Cheney, Leicestershire Promotions Ltd., Ashby Canal Association and several landowners and private individuals. Consultation is ongoing with local schools and colleges, young people and importantly Parishes. A range of stakeholders and beneficiaries will also be involved as the project develops. Local schools and colleges are invited to be involved actively in a heritage project to research and curate creative resources which may well be used in the Trail design and interpretation.
How much will it cost and how will the project be supported in the future?
The Trail installations and signage/interpretation will cost around £500K potentially rising to £1M (subject to securing external funding). This includes artworks creation, installation and related technical costs, signage and interpretation, project fees. Improvements to the Rights of Way network or additional promotion and signage are not included. Positive discussions so far have been held with Arts Council England (Midlands region), Heritage Lottery Fund (East Midlands region) for the schools project, Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council, Richard lll Society. In -kind contributions are already identified from volunteer input at a community level for local activities and facility usage. Ongoing discussions are taking place with the private sector and business community for capital contributions.
Once the Trail is completed the responsibility for overseeing the maintenance and promotion will pass to a consortium of representatives from local communities and landowners, with HBBC as responsible body.
The project will be delivered in 3 stages:
Stage 1 – completed 2016/17
Involved the consultation and engagement among local communities of three possible schemes and design approaches and was funded by the Arts Council (£18K).
Stage 2 – in progress 2018/19
Saw the appointment of Broadbent Studios as the preferred artists.
This stage involves listening and working with local stakeholders and community representatives and assessing the landscape. This determines the type, nature and setting of each of the components of the trail. The six pieces of art have been shared at a public consultation event held in Dadlington.
Currently the sites are a mixture of churches, public spaces, a heritage centre and green spaces. There is no plan to change the use of any of the sites, rather to enhance their historic context and meaning both individually and as part of the Trail.
There are ongoing discussions with Parishes regards the final designs.
This stage has been funded by a £28k capital grant by HBBC.
Stage 3 - 2020
The third stage will be the delivery of the trail through the design, manufacture and installation of the artworks across the sites. A range of promising funding sources have already been identified, including Arts Council, Heritage Lottery and LLEP, which will enable the project to be realised using external funding.