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Elegant sculpture stands in welcome to Peters Village

Peters Village – the Medway Valley’s newest community – gives visitors an impressive welcome with an elegant sculpture on the roundabout between the development and the new Peters Bridge.

The archway-shaped sculpture reflects both the industrial and natural heritage of the area.

Chris Hall, Director for Peters Village developer Trenport, said: “This landmark welcomes everyone to Peters Village – visitors and residents alike – and is a monument to major objectives we have adhered to.

“Firstly, our pride in transforming a brown field site into a desirable new community that embraces its industrial past, while also nurturing the natural history of the land, which includes rare species such as the Marsh Mallow Moth, Great Crested Newt, bats, and several orchids.

“Secondly, a premium look for Peters Village reflected in high standards we set in planning applications for the housing design and layout of the site.

“This theme also acknowledges the desires of the existing communities of Wouldham, Burham and Eccles, which are justly proud of their heritage; many of their forefathers worked at the former Peters Lime and Cement Works and its quarries, from which Peters Village has arisen.

“We are delighted that this was applauded by Wouldham Parish Council’s comment on the planning application for the archway design: ‘No objection - we think it is a lovely work of art.’”

Art consultant Samantha Twomey of Art Projects Management Ltd was asked to mastermind the art element at Peters Village and said: “It was an imaginative decision by Trenport to take this course – aided and abetted by local opinion – and an exciting brief for me, allowing new ground to be broken in choice of materials and design.

“The project should underline and further develop the view that industrial heritage is to be valued and, importantly, help steer future housing and community developments away from the twee and trite themes that so often blighted older developments.”

The archway sculpture sits upon a mounded roundabout on the east bank of the River Medway between the new bridge, The Greenway leading to Wouldham village, and the main entrance to Peters Village. The six-metre wide artwork itself projects a further four metres above the mound to create an imposing presence.

The structure was installed just ahead of the official opening of the new Medway Bridge on 15 September 2016.

The sculpture was designed after Trenport staged two successful workshops exploring ideas for landmark public art at the site. Nearly 20 people from Wouldham, Burham and Eccles attended these to help a creative team identify themes and designs, focussing on the area’s industrial history and the rich flora and fauna of the location.  

The main form of the sculpture comprises two concentric laser-cut steel arches that mirror the logo of the former Peters Works, and the overall design features the chimneys of the now demolished works, and the wheels of railway wagons used to transport chalk from the quarries to the riverside kilns. These have then been fused with other popular natural ‘motifs’ including buzzards, herons, butterflies, moths and bullrushes.

Peters Village has been developed by Trenport at a cost of more than £50 million for the site infrastructure, backed by £19.5 million of Government loan funding from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).