Crowdfunding campaign set up for Battle sculpture

The proposed statue
The proposed statue

A crowdfunding campaign has been set up in order to build a statue to mark the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.

Battle mayor David Furness is leading the charge to commemorate the great battle with a major public sculpture commission.

The town council needs to raise around £43,000 for the project.

Cllr Furness is currently approaching businesses, groups and individuals to invite contributions, large or small. A crowdfunding account has also been created and individuals can contribute by logging onto www.gofundme.com/1066sculpture, with anything from £1 to £10,000.

The mayor said: “Unbelievably, although Battle is the actual site of the Battle of Hastings, no lasting public work to mark the conquest has been commissioned since 1071.

“The outcome of the Battle of Hastings set England on a new course. It would be wonderful if, in 2016, we were to leave a monument that will last for hundreds of years, marking this momentous occasion and remembering all that have fallen in combat since that nation-defining moment.”

Last year, the town council launched a public competition inviting designs for a commemoration. Sixty entries were received and Battle resident Kenneth Higgs was selected from the shortlist of those with the most votes. He said: “I was delighted and proud my design was chosen out of so many. It will look stunning on the roundabout.”

Internationally renowned sculptor Guy Portelli will create the piece.

He said: “It’s a unique coincidence so many historical lines converge in 2016, such as the Queen’s 90th birthday, the EU referendum to either remove or reinforce our bonds with Europe and anniversaries of the First and Second World Wars. All these historical events need to be honoured within this sculpture and I’m thrilled to be a part of both marking and making history in Battle.”

The sculpture is planned for installation at the roundabout at the main entrance to Battle in the north end of town on September 28, the date of the Norman landings at Pevensey in 1066. It will be officially unveiled on the date of the battle itself, October 14.

With Battle Abbey on the southerly entrance, visitors will walk the full length of the town’s High Street to visit both commemorative sites.

Paula Williams, founder of BRITISH Design BRITISH Made on the High Street, said: “Guy Portelli’s sculpture will undoubtedly boost footfall towards the north end of town, unifying both ends of our High Street.”

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