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New Tredegar House statue will honour area’s land workers

17 Oct 2023 2 minute read
Left: Tredegar House land worker sculpture drawing. Credit: Mark Folds via Newport City Council

Nicholas ThomasLocal Democracy Reporter

A new sculpture at Tredegar House in Newport will honour the area’s land workers of a bygone age.

Heritage group The Living Levels Partnership has applied for planning permission to install a four-metre high statue in the mansion’s grounds, portraying a female land worker holding a hay rake.

Designed and built by Carmarthenshire-based sculptor Mark Folds, the figure will be made from larch wood and situated in an area of the grounds home to a new rewilding project.


“The sculpture at Tredegar House represents ordinary agricultural workers who helped shape the [Gwent] Levels over many centuries,” Christopher Harris, programme manager for the Living Levels, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

“She is shown in traditional dress holding a hay rake and will be sited next to an area of the parkland now being managed as a traditional hay meadow.

“Some of the plants and animals associated with hay meadows are represented on her apron and there are spaces, holes and crevices built into the design to attract wildlife. Her hollow hat can be used as a bird box.”

Mr Harris said the artwork, if approved, would be the latest addition to “a series of human sculptures representing key people in the story of the [Gwent] Levels” – a nature-rich web of marshlands, reens and mudflats which stretches along the banks of the Severn Estuary in Newport, Monmouthshire and Cardiff.

These sculptures form a trail along the coast, and currently include a lave net fisherman at Black Rock, near the Prince of Wales Bridge; a Roman centurion at the sea wall near St Brides, a ‘brinker’ at Magor Marsh Nature Reserve, and an engineer, also at Black Rock.

Newport City Council planners are currently assessing the application to install the sculpture, and if that proves successful, Mr Harris said the figure “will be installed on site in the next few weeks”.

The application can be viewed on the Newport City Council website under reference 23/0690.

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