Denbigh Town – Castle Link scheme, Broomhill Lane part 2
The objective to achieve greater awareness for visitors to Denbigh Castle and Walls from the town was largely met by the colourful and attractive new fingerpost (http://www.celfwaith.co.uk/projects/denbigh-town-castle-link-scheme-broo...). But looking up the lane, there was still more needed to encourage visitors to take this path. The lane turns a sharp right at the top and so the view up from the high street stops at a wall. It was decided that a sculptural feature at this junction would give further reason to explore.
Joss Smith created a large scale relief sculpture and built it into the wall itself, which was dismantled and re-built by a local stone waller. The relief is in the shape of the iris of an eye, filled with flower motifs (including the broom flower) which reference the story of Blodeuwedd from the Mabinogion. She was a woman created by Math and Gwydion from nine types of flowers - broom, meadowsweet, oak blossom, primrose, cockle, bean, nettle, chestnut and hawthorn. Married to Llew Llaw Gyffes, she later fell in love with Gronw Pebyr and betrayed her husband by finding out how he could be killed and arranging his death with Gronw. However, Gwydion, avenged his nephew Llew by changing Blodeuwedd into an owl, the most hated of all birds. Some say that Gwydion pursued the faithless Blodeuwedd through the night sky, and a path of white flowers sprang up in the wake of her passing, which we today know as the Milky Way. Joss makes reference to these parts of the story with two small scale sculptures installed on the wall above the lane, of an owl in flight, and the milky way.
The broom flower wasn't the only theme to be interpreted by the artists. Rebecca Gouldson created seven designs for the utility covers along the lane, each interpreting a different historical fact or person about Denbigh. The utility covers needed to have an overall pattern and texture for safety reasons and she overlaid imagery and text over details of historical maps of the area.
The seven cover designs represent the following subjects:
1. Gwasg Gee and 'Y Gwyddionadur Cymreig'
2. The glove-making industry
3. Denbigh, Ruthin and Corwen Railway, and the opening of the railway from Ruthin to Denbigh on St David's day 1862
4. Kate Roberts 1891 – 1985 author and also a link with Gwasg Gee
5. Isaac Roberts 1829 – 1904, pioneer of astrophotography
6. Denbigh Castle
7. Hugh Middleton 1560 – 1631, goldsmith and self-taught engineer best known for bringing clean water to London in 1613.
The Town Guides in Denbigh now have a route to take visitors full of inspiring artworks to help them tell the story of Denbigh and bring history to life.
The Denbigh Town - Castle link scheme was part of Cadw’s £19 million Heritage Tourism Project funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Welsh Government. The project was officially opened on the 28th November 2014.