Maid in Bath: New Riverside artwork bridges space between site’s industrial past and its future

November 30, 2018

The latest work of art at Crest Nicholson’s Bath Riverside development has been unveiled – a sculpture that aims to connect the past with the present and the land with the river.

Designed by Bath artist Anna Gillespie and created through collaborative work by two local companies, Maid of the Bridge, pictured, sets out to reflect the former industrial site’s rich history. 

Anna worked alongside Bath-based civil engineering group Buro Happold to create the sculpture, which takes pride of place at the junction of Percy Terrace and Elizabeth Parade,  using metal retained during the refurbishment of Victoria Bridge.

Ironart of Bath then created the sculpture, which takes the form of an abstract figure overlooking the new park from Elizabeth Parade.

Anna said: “I was approached by Crest Nicholson to create a new piece for Bath Riverside using the ‘chains’ of wrought iron that had to be removed from Victoria Bridge as part of its conservation and reconstruction.

“The resulting sculpture is the result of a collaboration between people and companies from the city. I’m really pleased with the finished piece and hope people will enjoy it for many, many years to come.

“My main hope for the sculpture is that it will create connections. Between the past and the present, between the land and the river, between one bank and the other. I hope, too, that in time the people who are making their homes in this newly opened-up area of Bath will enjoy the sculpture and find their own connections to it.”

Andy Thearle of Ironart of Bath added: “It is fantastic to see Maid of the Bridge in its rightful place after a lot of hard work over the past year. It has been brilliant working with Anna and Buro Happold to bring Anna’s vision to life and, as a local company, Ironart is proud to have been involved with this project.”

This latest artwork forms part of the art strategy for the area, which now boasts numerous pieces, many designed by local artists.

The artworks installed to date include stone carvings, etched windows, bronze castings and the popular Herschel Chairs in Victoria Bridge Square. 

Also due to be displayed at the development are the decorative cast iron scrolls removed during the restoration of Bath’s landmark Destructor Bridge. 

These will be renovated and placed at either end of the new riverside path feature in Elizabeth Park. One will be painted Bright Orange to match the tiles in Royal View and the other blue. 

Bath artist Peter Dickinson, who oversees the Riverside art strategy on behalf of developer Crest Nicholson, said: “Maid of the Bridge echoes the sentiment of the whole development – a new addition which is steeped in the history of the site but looking to the future, and will be appreciated by Bathonians and visitors to the city alike for years to come.”

Crest Nicholson is creating a major contemporary housing-led mixed-use development on Bath’s former riverside industrial heartland, which at one time included iconic crane manufacturer Stothert & Pitt, which exported around the world.

Crest Nicholson is working with the Bath Stone Group and City of Bath College Construction Skills centre to offer anyone the opportunity to create a stone element that could be incorporated into the landscape of Bath Riverside.

Bath Stone Group is sponsoring the arts strategy with the provision of stone from its local mine. 


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