The Monument to the Battle of Barnet will be created by casting and siting a bronze sculpture, called Pyrrhic Victory depicting a knight on horseback, in an underused green space in Whetstone, in the Borough of Barnet. The sculpture with its stone plinth will be 2 metres high. It is a work by local sculptor John Somerville who continues to work despite his disability.
The green space would be landscaped and planted up around the sculpture and seating provided.
Apart from being a place of reflection on the impact and sadness of war, it could also be a place for the local community, especially young people and visitors, to learn about the history of the Barnet area and its heritage. Information plaques about the Battle would be displayed. The Battle of Barnet was a key engagement in the Wars of the Roses and an important moment in England's history.
This monument and garden would also serve to commemorate all local people affected by all wars both before and since.
What we'll deliver:
- Cast and erect a 2 metre bronze sculpture of a knight on horseback
- Site the sculpture on a stone plinth in an under-used green space in Whetstone
- Design and plant up the space around the sculpture and provide additional seating
- Erect historical plaques setting out the story of the Battle of Barnet
- A place for people to learn more about their local heritage
- An improved space for the local community to enjoy and use as a place of peace and reflection
Why it's a great idea:
In the centenary of the "war to end all wars", it seems fitting to create a lasting memorial to the Battle of Barnet and wars in general. This bronze sculpture called Pyrrhic Victory captures the poignancy and sadness of war, where even in victory there is loss. Although wars often need to be fought, many times there are no real winners.
It is a striking piece of art by local sculptor, John Somerville, commemorating and celebrating this important historical event. It is inspiring to see him still working despite his disability.
Its installation will create a focal point to celebrate both local art and local history. It would improve a neglected green space and give it a focus.
The monument and garden would provide a quiet place for the local community, especially young people, and visitors to learn about its history and heritage.
Local schools will be encouraged and invited to use it for Battle of Barnet projects.
It could become a place for local celebrations .
Steps to get it done:
- Sculpture will be scaled up by John Somerville and the foundry authorised to cast it.
- The site will be prepared / foundations / paving to take the sculpture
- Authorise stone work to be produced for the base of the sculpture
- Purchase shrubs and plants for the landscaping
- Authorise the production of the historical and commemorative plaques
Local sculptor John Somerville was disabled by a stroke a number of years ago. He continues to work despite this and received The Stroke Association's Award for Creative Arts in 2016, which can be viewed on YouTube under 'John Somerville award'. His most famous local work is his life-size bronze of Spike Milligan sitting on a bench, which is now in the grounds of Stephens House in Finchley. The Maquette of Pyrrhic Victory was exhibited at the Royal Academy, where John is a regular exhibitor.