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Missing Slopes monument retURNs

Published on 3 November 2023

The missing urn on Buxton's Slopes has been reinstated in its original location after the Council commissioned stone specialists to carve a new urn to replace the damaged one.

The urn, one of twelve of the Grade II* listed ornaments, was removed several years ago due to safety concerns.

High Peak Borough Council and Historic England has funded the replacement as part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) project in Buxton.

UK Restoration Services was appointed to replace the urn and, in conjunction with specialists Whitaker Stone Ltd, have carved a new urn from Bath stone to match the missing urn exactly. The project was overseen by Bench Architects - conservation accredited architects based in Buxton.

Councillor Damien Greenhalgh, Deputy Leader and Executive Councillor for Regeneration, Leisure and Tourism, said: "The urns are central to the character of the historic Slopes so it's great news that the missing one has been replaced.

"The stone masons have done an absolutely terrific job of carving the new urn to match the existing ones exactly and there are a couple of great timelapse videos on our YouTube channel which show these skilled crafts people at work.

"Attracting people to Buxton is essential if our businesses and high street are to thrive which is why the cultural elements of this project are so important.

"We're delighted with the replacement urn which has now been restored to it's rightful place. It completes the Slopes and ensures the essential nature of this lovely area of Buxton is preserved for many more years to come."

The large stone urns, which were carved in around 1750, were originally from Lord Burlington's Londesborough estate in Yorkshire and were moved to Buxton in the 1800s when the Slopes were laid out.

Tim Allen, Historic England Development Advice Team Leader, said: "It's not just about recreating the urn itself and restoring the character of the Slopes - it's also about being able to bring these craft skills to the people of Buxton.

"As part of the UK Government supported Buxton High Street Heritage Action Zone, Historic England was delighted to assist High Peak Borough Council in funding the restoration of the missing urn.

"The Slopes are a draw for locals and visitors alike - the draw that supports the jobs and businesses around Spring Gardens - work like this restores the historic character and quality of public gardens and also helps secure economic prosperity."

As well as replacing the urn, the HSHAZ project is providing grant funding to support the repair and reinstatement of historic shop fronts in the main commercial area of the town centre alongside a diverse cultural and educational programme to celebrate the high street.

Find out more about the project - and watch the urn timelapse videos - on our website.