We spent a few weeks recently having a good look at a hugely diverse range of public monuments and sculptures under the custodianship of Watford Borough Council.
Amongst them were 14 very impressive listed tombs in St Mary's Church juxtaposed with some ambitious modern public sculptures in stainless steel. One of the highlights was a bronze sculpture outside the Town Hall by Mary Pownall Bromnet, a student of August Rodin. The sculpture is a war memorial depicting 3 male figures who each represented ‘the fallen’, ‘the victory’, and ‘the wounded’.
The project involved undertaking a thorough condition assessment of the 34 monuments, along with treatment proposals to cover the next 10 years. The monuments were made from stone, bronze, steel and aluminium. Several of the modern sculptures were over 5 metres tall and required our mobile access tower and truck mounted cherry picker to be used to gain complete access. The most time consuming ‘object’ was the bandstand in Cassiobury Park, a brilliantly restored (and relocated) Victorian example.
The weeks spent in and around Watford gave us another great experience of public art and monuments, and reminded us of the importance of these objects, both as memorials of the past and thought provoking additions to the townscape.