Statue of Lord Cobham, Stowe Gardens

This project was awarded Commended in the Craftsmanship category at the Natural Stone Awards 2002.

The official guide said, 'The statue of Lord Cobham was commissioned by the National Trust to replace an original 18th century statue carved by Peter Scheemakers. The original statue was mounted on a 104ft pillar until it was struck by lightening in 1957 and crashed to the ground.

Only two fragments were saved. They, with computer enhanced photographs, provided the evidence to recreate the original carving.

First, one of the original fragments, of a wrist, was used to carve a whole hand in order to set the style for the work. Timothy Lees, the head carver at Cliveden Conservation Workshop, carried out the carving, attempting to capture the spirit of the original sculpture in his work.

The size of the statue was worked out from a piece of weathered head, which was the other fragment of the original to survive. On this plinth, the statue stands 3.25m high, making it the largest hand-carved stone statue produced in the UK for well over 100 years.

The statue is produced from three pieces of stone, jointed across the neck and lower torso. The finished statue was hoisted back on top of the restored column and this time a lightening conductor was added to avoid a repetition of the earlier disaster.'

The judges commented, 'This larger than life statue was carved to replace an earlier one smashed to pieces when lightening struck in 1957. The carving is well proportioned and carefully detailed.'

Statue of Lord Cobham using Portland Stone