If you wondered what had happened to the stone mural we all drove by on the Town Bridge, it’s all set for a new home at the city’s newest development.
The iconic mural celebrating the evolution of science and engineering will be set on the side of the multi-storey car park at Fletton Quays.
It seems incredible that it was way back in 2012 that the mural on the Bridge House building was removed ahead of the demolition of the building and the regeneration of the South Bank area in Peterborough.
It’s been in storage ever since and has now been professionally restored ahead of installation this summer at its new home on the western elevation of the car park at Fletton Quays, where it will be visible on entering the site.
The site is being taken forward by Peterborough Investment Partnership and Howard Bright, Principal Development Manager, said: “Recognising its historic importance, making sure this iconic mural is a focal point of the Fletton Quays site has been a priority right from the start of these development plans.
“The landscape around the multi-storey car park is designed to respond to the artwork with trees framing the view as you enter and a small pocket park is proposed where people will be able to sit and admire the mural.”
The mural was made by celebrated sculptor Arthur Ayres for Mitchell Engineering Limited in the mid-1950s. Ayres carried out work on many major buildings in London, including Westminster Abbey. This Peterborough work was one of his largest, taking three years to carve in situ onto 51 panels of Portland stone.
The design features Sir Isaac Newton, Archimedes, and Thomas Bradwardine, an English scholar who lived at the turn of the 14th century. It also has a number of figures from mythology, including Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom and the arts.
It was commissioned when Mitchell Engineering still had a world-wide client base and long before the firm was taken over by Tarmac. As such it celebrates a sector of Peterborough business still represented by the world wide project base of firms such as Royal HaskoningDHV, Halcrow and Stirling Maynard.
Chairman of Peterborough Civic Society Peter Lee said: “Arthur Ayres had a strong belief that the place of sculpture was as part of the external design of buildings rather than being shut away in galleries, so it is especially appropriate that it is to be re-erected on a building again.
“We are delighted that progress is being made towards the relocation of the sculpture and look forward to seeing it installed.”