Westgate Parks have got a new resident!
A big beast has taken up residence in a meadow in Canterbury, but walkers have nothing to fear. The huge bull sited in Tannery Field is a sculpture designed to reflect the industrial and agricultural heritage of the landscape. The Canterbury Bull was commissioned by Westgate Parks Officer Anna Bell and paid for with Canterbury City Council’s Parks for People Heritage Lottery Funding.
Looking good Mr Bull!
Made from old railway track by Steven Portchmouth, who specialises in animal sculpture, it’s design drew inspiration from the former St. Mildred’s Tannery and the train tracks that still exist on the site. The track was used by workers to transport heavy trucks full of waste from the Tannery to a site called slub bank. Anna said: ‘ We wanted to create a sense of place for Tannery Field and provide a platform for discovering the historical importance of the area on which the bull stands.’
Tanneries favoured bull hides as they were better quality than that of cows – hence the sculptured bull’s skinned look. According to local residents there was also a bull kept on the field for a number of years. The Tannery, which closed down in 2002, produced leather for seating in the House of Lords, the interior trim of Rolls Royce cars and, allegedly, the famous chair from the TV quiz mastermind.
The story of the Canterbury Bull is told on one of seven new interpretation panels sited in the Westgate Parks.
If you visit our lovely Bull please take a selfie and upload them to our Canterbury Bull facebook page. Please ensure photographic permissions are obtained for those under the age of 16. Don’t forget to use the #GoOutside!