Photos: Steve Morgan

Scammonden's Own Stanza Stone

2013's Walk and Ride Festival event at Scammonden Water got off to an extra special start when the Mayor of Kirklees, Councillor Martyn Bolt, unveiled a unique Stanza Stone: a special collaboration between sculptor Peter Maris, poet Simon Armitage and local young people.

Yorkshire Water, Kirklees Council, White Rose Forest and Pennine Prospects worked together on a variety of projects to improve access, habitat and enjoyment around Scammonden Water. In particular, Yorkshire Water invested significantly in access trails and improving the car park close to where the Stanza Stone is sited.

The project was a challenge that sculptor Peter Maris relished. He incorporated 26 unconnected phrases describing the South Pennine landscape into a visual format, relevant to the environment that the sculpture overlooks. The words were selected by Simon Armitage from recent work that he initiated with local writers as a community based part of the Stanza Stones project, which incorporates a 47-mile trail across the landscape with six carved stones en-route, commissioned by Ilkley Literature Festival. 

Peter carved the stone in a variety of ways to depict the written sentiments with different voices and volumes. He also designed an accompanying bench that was cut by water-jet technology to mimic the shape of the reservoir. He used a mixture of local stones supplied by Marshalls plc and also called upon Hipperholme-based Scribble Stone for their technological services. 

The piece celebrates both the three year Watershed Landscape Project and the significant investment in access and paths around Scammonden Water by Yorkshire Water.