A statue of one of the area’s most famous historical figures has been safely lowered into place in Kirkby Stephen.
Lady Anne Clifford, born in 1590, has been sculpted by Winton-based artist Diane Lawrenson and the statue, called Lady Anne’s Way, will stand proudly in front of the town’s visitor centre.
“Lady Anne travelled through this region with a vision for the future. Building, restoring and caring for the inhabitants, providing schools, churches, alms houses, while at the same time, in other areas of our country, people were struggling and starving as a result of the English Civil War,” says Diane, an award-winning sculptor and a member of the Royal Cambrian Academy and a member of the Society of Women Artists.
Depicting Lady Anne as a young woman, the sculpture is sited along the route she would have taken to walk between Pendragon Castle and Brough Castle.
The casting of the sculpture at the Powerhall foundry in Edinburgh, and its installation in the town centre on a plinth made from specially prepared Brockram boulder, has been wholly funded by private donations.
Town council chairman Joan Johnstone said: “The work of the sculptor herself and that of local masonry specialist T. A. Law, working with Dinsdale Contracts, has also been donated.
“The town council would like to thank all involved for their generous support for this project and their gift of this sculpture to the town and for their forbearance as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the schedule for the works.”
It had been intended to unveil the sculpture in May, but when lockdown started, production was stopped at the foundry where the artwork was being cast — with the sculpture part completed on the production line.
The sculpture was finally completed in July when production restarted and an agreement has been reached with Cumbria County Council to site the work in the sculptor’s chosen location.