Richmond Park has unveiled a new set of gates, the St Paul's Cathedral tercentenary gates, which take pride of place at the entrance to Sidmouth Woods and frame the park’s famous view across the capital.
The section of the park, where the gates now proudly sit, has been specially preserved so visitors can observe the view of the Cathedral from 10 miles away.
Joshua De Lisle, 21, the blacksmith who helped plan and construct the gates, had the opportunity to work on the prestigious project after winning a sketching competition set out by the Goldsmith family, who helped fund the project as a tribute to the late Edward Goldsmith.
Mr De Lisle said: “This has totally turned my life around. It’s been a difficult two years and a lot of improvisation has gone into this.”
The veil covering the gates was lifted by De Lisle, Katherine Goldsmith, Richmond Park manager Simon Richards and assistant park manager Adam Curtis. Applause and praise from the community were given to De Lisle for his historic masterpiece, which will last for centuries.
Simon Richards said: “I want to thank the Goldsmith family for funding the money for the gate. This is a significant piece of art that will last for centuries.” The gate has been painted an invisible green colour to reflect the traditional colours of Richmond Park. The two words on the gate, The Way, is also an epitaph to Edward Goldsmith, author of the book by the same name.
The Way also refers to the Chinese term Tao, which represents spirituality, a path and questions everyone’s personal position in the ecological environment.
The curves in the gate represent the dome shape of St Paul’s Cathedral.
An award was also given to James Batten at the event in honour of him being named park volunteer of the year after helping maintain the view through the vista, all the way to St Paul’s Cathedral.
Tim Catchpole – an urban planner and close friend to Batten said: “Boris Johnson said that he will continue to maintain the preservation of the woods, which were under threat.”