Situated at the entrance to the Heritage Area, the sculpture was designed and carved by Anthony Lysycia, M.A. ( RCA) in 2005, and was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Over a 150 people were present at the official unveiling on October 23rd 2005. The large stones came from a nearby, working quarry and some of the artefacts incorporated in the sculpture are from the Heritage Area and the old quarry. The carving depicts the history and industrial past of the village and some of the wildlife to be found in the area.
The large pieces of metal set in the sculpture are unearthed relics, which were once part of the braking mechanism on a large, wooden drum called a Gin Wheel, which was used to regulate the speed of the limestone carrying trucks on their descent to the kilns. The full trucks pulled the empty ones up the incline by means of an endless cable wound round the drum. A fully restored Gin Wheel can be seen in Gyn Lane, a few hundred metres south of the Cross Guns public house in the nearby village of Pant.
The Llanymynech Community Project held its Limestone Launch on Sunday, 23 October 2005
Shown in the above photo are [left to right]:
Cllr Adam Brown, Chairman of Llanymynech and Pant Parish Council; Lembit Opik MP; Cllr Richard Burman, Oswestry Borough Council mayor; Cllr Tibbott, Powys County Council; Vivien Byrne, clerk to Llanymynech and Pant Parish Council and Cllr Dils Gaskill, County, Borough and Parish councillor and chairman of the Llanymynech Heritage Partnership.
The Rock In Place Ready for Carving
Anthony Lysycia At Work
On the left is the chimney of the Hoffman Ring Kiln.
To the left of the tree St. Agatha’s church in Llanymynech is depicted
In the 18th century George Rodney, an admiral in the Royal Navy, increased the prosperity of the area by using the wood of the extensive oak forests to build and repair his ships. A grateful population raised a stone monument in his honour on the summit of the Breidden Hill a few miles from Llanymynech.
The division down the centre of the tree and across the village name denotes the border between Wales and England.
The Roman Soldier
Llanymynech has a long, history of mining for various minerals and the quarrying of limestone from Llanymynech Hill. On the north west side of the Hill are the remains of ancient surface mines, where the Romans excavated for lead, copper and possibly silver. According to William Cathrall, who compiled a book, The History of Oswestry, in 1855, ‘there is no doubt that the Roman miners smelted their copper there in jars in open hearths’. Beneath the carving of a Roman soldier’s head is the name: MEDIOLANUM. In Catherall’s book the late Rev. Peter Roberts stated that the reputed Roman encampment in the area was: ‘the identical spot where Mediolanum once quartered the legions of ambitious Rome’.
The Narrow Boat
A narrow boat illustrates the importance of the canal in moving limestone and burnt lime to customers throughout the area and bringing in coal and supplies. Farmers would spread lime on their fields, as much of the soil on the Severn-Vyrnwy flood plain was very acidic. The lime was also used to make lime mortar and as a flux in the manufacture of iron.