Sculptures depicting Yorkshire's industrial heritage adorn the Way of the Roses Cycleway

PUBLISHED: 00:00 30 December 2014 | UPDATED: 18:09 19 February 2018

Joe with his stone carvings from his Pillars Past installation, Pateley Bridge, North Yorkshire

Joe with his stone carvings from his Pillars Past installation, Pateley Bridge, North Yorkshire

Paul Harris Photography

Pillars Past created by Pateley Bridge artist Joe Hayton

Joseph Hayton working on his project, Pillars Past to be erected in Pateley Bridge as part of a series of art installationss along the Way of the Roses Cycle route from Morcame Bay to BridlingtonJoseph Hayton working on his project, Pillars Past to be erected in Pateley Bridge as part of a series of art installationss along the Way of the Roses Cycle route from Morcame Bay to Bridlington

Three eerily life-like sandstone figures of Pateley Bridge’s past have appeared on the Way of the Roses Cycleway as part of new artworks commissioned by Sustrans- the charity behind the National Cycle Network. Sculptor Joseph Hayton created the imposing, two-metre high sculptures of a miner, a farmer and a monk as a monument to the great pillars of past industries on which the West Yorkshire town was built. The three are arranged in a circle and from a distance they look like ancient standing stones.

Joseph modelled his Pillars Past on the faces of local people of similar vocations in modern day Pateley Bridge. He created life-sized clay models, cast them in plaster of Paris, carved the figures in local stone, using a pointing machine as a traditional three dimensional measuring system.’ In this part of Yorkshire lead mining, sheep farming and the Fountains Abbey dominated peoples’ lives and work,’ said Joseph. ‘I enjoy carving heads so I created these three portraits to represent these pillars of industry. I wanted it to feel like the viewer is being stared at by three commanding figures from the past.’

Rupert Douglas, Sustrans area manager for Yorkshire and the Humber said the sculptures were a striking reminder of the faces behind Pateley Bridge’s rich industrial heritage. They also celebrate today’s modern town. ‘It’s a great excuse for cyclists to get off their bikes, take a photo and explore the area’s history and attractions,’ he added.

Pillars Past is one of five sculptures commissioned by Sustrans to celebrate the Way of the Roses cycle and walkway, which runs 170 miles from coast to coast between Morecambe and Bridlington. Earlier this year the cycleway near the town of Bentham revealed the Queen’s Bloomers by Marjan Wouda, which highlighted the surprising fact that the town once made underwear for Queen Victoria.

Faces of local people inspired JoeFaces of local people inspired Joe

The artworks along Way of the Roses, three of which are still to be completed, aim to take riders on a cultural journey through the route’s history and encourage people to stop off on their route and explore the places they pass through.

The Way of the Roses attracts over 130,000 visitors each year and is part of Sustrans’ National Cycle Network - 14,700 miles of cycle and walk ways.

Pillars Past was created in association with Nidderdale Visual Arts using sandstone donated by Johnsons Wellfield, with support from Hanson Aggregates, HACS and Houseman International and unveiled at the Old Railway Turntable, Nidd Walk, Pateley Bridge by Councillor Stanley Lumley and Mike Babbitt of Sustrans.

For more information about Joseph Hayton and Pillars Past go to josephhayton.co.uk

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