Mayor of Newton Abbot unveils contemporary stone circle at Church Walk
06 Jul 2023

Mayor of Newton Abbot unveils contemporary stone circle at Church Walk

A fascinating piece of public art was unveiled at Linden Homes’ Church Walk development in Newton Abbot to coincide with the summer solstice. The contemporary stone circle was created by local artist, David Newman, and shows the position of the sun’s shadow on markers on the days of the summer and winter solstices and the spring and autumn equinoxes.

The artist was joined by the Mayor of Newton Abbot and his consort, representatives from Linden Homes and members connected to the project at a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The sculpture references the granite that was transported by tramway from Haytor to the Stover Canal from 1820 to 1858.

How does it work?

The most southerly stone is the tallest stone and marked with a St Bede’s sandstone insert, which is the creator of the shadow.

Local artist, David Newman, explained: “The circle is designed to show the spring and autumn equinoxes when the daylight hours equal the night time hours. On March 20th and September 22nd at midday the shadow touches the centrally placed ground marker stone.

“The circle also shows the summer and winter solstices when the sun reaches its highest and lowest points in the sky. On June 21st the shadow will come to the ground marker stone nearest to the southerly stone at midday and on December 21st the shadow comes to the marker on the northerly shortest stone at midday.”

He added: “When I conceived the idea I wanted something that would celebrate the seasons. It is hoped that this will be a place where the community can meet and enjoy the space in and around the stones.

“It was wonderful to unveil the sculpture and I would like to thank Linden Homes for this excellent collaboration, Westcountry Stonemasons of Ivybridge for its work on the stones and also Ben Nock of Newton Abbot for the ground work. I’m very proud of the finished result.”

Linden Homes’ technical director, Mal Gilmore, said: “As work started on the circle on 20th March (spring equinox), it seemed fitting to officially unveil the artwork on June 21st (summer solstice). I love that the contemporary stone circle is interactive, has such strong local connections and can be appreciated by all age groups. It’s a great addition to the development.”

The Mayor of Newton Abbot, councillor David Corney-Walker, said: “It’s fantastic to see local art being embraced and it’s wonderful that this interactive artwork can be enjoyed by the local community. I can imagine people meeting here and appreciating the beauty of the space, whether they’re being quiet and reflective, learning about the sun or enjoying the positioning of the stones. It’s been fascinating to hear how it works and I love that it reinforces our connection to the natural world.”

An information board is in production to explain how the circle works.

Located off Exeter Road in Newton Abbot, Church Walk is a popular development of three and four bedroom homes.

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