Sculpture a link to Watton site’s past

Sculptor Harriet Mead and Tony Abel with the horse sculpture made out of farm machinery to mark the

Sculptor Harriet Mead and Tony Abel with the horse sculpture made out of farm machinery to mark the end of the Abel Homes housing development. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

A sculpture by one of the country's leading wildlife artists has been unveiled at a housing development.

Housing developer Abel Homes commissioned the piece, by Norfolk-based sculptor Harriet Mead, for its hus46+ development off Norwich Road.

The site used to be home to the Abel family's shire horses which were introduced to the area by Noel Abel in 1978.

Tony Abel, managing director of Abel Homes, said: 'We are delighted to have been able to commission an artist of Harriet's reputation and standing to make this fabulous piece.

'The work really evokes the tradition of this site as the stables of the famous Abels shire horses.

'We decided some years ago to commission these artworks to act as a focal point for the new communities which we create in Norfolk, something which can give the community a sense of identity.

'And by commissioning these works from Norfolk artists, we are also supporting our own local artistic community, and ensuring that their work will be on public display in perpetuity.'

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The new work consists of a life-sized shire horse collage made from found materials – in particular farming tools and implements.

Abel Homes has made a commitmen to commision a piece of public art for each of its housing developments.

Harriet Mead, daughter of the late author and broadcaster Chris Mead, is President of the internationally-renowned Society of Wildlife artists, and is a former winner of the Capmark Europe Art Award, which is awarded to the 'most outstanding work inspired by the natural world'. She has completed many high-profile commissions, including a life-sized shire horse, bull and ram at the Suffolk Showground.

Do you have a story in the Watton area? Write to reporter Doug Faulkner at