Miners’ Gate to celebrate Haigh’s heritage at Mowpin Lodge

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Haigh Hall
Haigh Hall

A celebration of Wigan Borough’s proud industrial past will form the centrepiece of a stunning new gate at Haigh Hall’s Mowpin Lodge.

Following a public vote, the spectacular ironwork entranceway will feature a gold shovel and pickaxe motif in recognition of Haigh’s 900-year mining history.

The design proved the most popular of three options put forward by creative directors Al and Al, who are working with Wigan Council on a £31m masterplan to transform Haigh Hall into a thriving arts, culture and heritage visitor destination.

Subject to planning consent, their initial concept will now be brought to life by local company Lost Art Limited who specialise in repairing, restoring, reproducing and reinstating historic landscape furnishings.

Councillor David Molyneux MBE, Leader of Wigan Council, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to reveal the winning design for our fabulous new gate at Mowpin Lodge, which was chosen by our residents as part of our recent consultation.

“We want Haigh Hall to be a place that celebrates our borough’s rich history and heritage, and it’s only fitting that this important element of our past will be incorporated into our future as a reminder of our borough’s story through the years.

“Our Haigh Hall masterplan is also a key element of our community wealth building ambitions, underlined in our Deal For Business. This exciting project is just the first example of how the rejuvenation of Haigh Hall will benefit our local economy, creating jobs and opportunities for local businesses.”

The fundamental design for the gate will be based on ironwork from the 1830s: the same period in which the current hall was built.

Alternative proposals for the central motif, which also drew inspiration from the Haigh Estate’s rich heritage, featured a swan and the Eye of Providence.

However, it was the shovel and pickaxe – the traditional tools of the miner, as featured on the emblem of the National Union of Miners – that resonated most with the public.

Creative directors Al and Al said: “Many of us in Wigan Borough have mining heritage in our families and Haigh Hall is at the centre of that heritage, so we’re proud this is the design that’s been chosen by the people.

“The Miners’ Gate is inspired by the seven pit heads on the Haigh Estate and, most importantly, the people who spent their lives digging in the dark subterranean world of tunnels to power the industrial revolution.

“We hope the new gate at Mowpin Lodge will inspire future generations to remember the extraordinary contribution of mining families to our local community.”

Planning permission for the installation will be sought later this summer, in the hope the gate can be in place early in 2023.

Meanwhile, a bid for £20m towards the Haigh Hall masterplan will shortly be submitted to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.