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Thurlstone War Memorial, 2012 - 2013.

A sandstone twisted obelisk, set into a sandstone base. Height : 8’ 5".

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Artist's impression of memorial and base stone assembled together
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All images above taken by Marc Wilmot Photography and Elizabeth Stocker.


Overall height: 8' 5". Sandstone set into a sandstone base.


The memorial was commissioned by Thurlstone Community Group and is finished but is awaiting erection on site.

It was made in collaboration with Roger Hunt of Hillside Quarry, Thurlstone, Elizabeth Stocker, who designed the inscriptions, and Jed Trotter and Dave Bedford, who engraved the main inscription. Local blacksmith Nigel Tyas has helped to solve the engineering problems associated with erecting it.


The design of the Thurlstone War Memorial is an adaptation of an earlier twisted obelisk design which had been made in collaboration with Roger Hunt six months earlier – The Hillside Quarry Obelisk. (click here to view the Hillside Quarry obelisk). The Memorial design is perhaps the more pleasing of the two, since it is tapered on all four faces rather than just two. One of the constraints which influenced the design was the shape of the actual boulder that Roger found and gave to the village for the project. The initial block was cut with Roger’s large saws at the quarry and then moved down to my home, Rose Cottage, where the twists were cut and the rest of the work was finished. The obelisk and the base stone are now at Rose Cottage awaiting erection.

The obelisk is an exploration of some simple but strange transformations of geometric forms. Viewed from the side, it appears to have three perfectly straight edges. As one moves around the sculpture, two of these edges gradually transform into sinuous curves while the third remains straight. As one moves further around to the front, one curve is lost to view, to be replaced on the other side with a straight edge. The cross-section of the base of the obelisk is a near perfect golden-section rectangle which twists anti-clockwise and transforms into a perfect diamond at the top. Two of the four edges start with a dihedral angle of 90° at the base, which transform to 60° at the top. Similarly, the other two edges gradually vary between 90° and 120°.

I hope that when it is erected, daylight will love this obelisk. The warped surfaces will orientate themselves towards the sunlight in strange and subtle ways. Sometimes there will be a sharp delineation between light and shade, and at other times light will very gradually change to shade on a surface.

My rationale in presenting these transformations is primarily to delight the eye and the touch with an object that is sensual and classically beautiful. I hope too that it will also possess a simple dignity suitable for a war memorial.

The form of the obelisk is essentially one which we would associate with tractable materials that can be heated and deformed by twisting or moulded like metal or glass. When used in stone, the form surprises the viewer and makes the obelisk seem a curious object.

It has been a delight to me to design and create this obelisk and to see Elizabeth’s graphic designs appearing on its surface. My thanks go to all my very talented collaborators – Roger, Elizabeth, Jed, Dave and Nigel - without whose help I could never have attempted such a large-scale project.

Jim Milner. April 2013



Elizabeth's photos of some of the early stages of the work at Roger's Hillside quarry.

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Jim, Jed, Roger and Jimmy measuring up ... Roger adjusting the stone ...
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December 2013 – The Installation

The memorial was set into its base stone with the help of Roger and Elizabeth, using a clamping device made in collaboration with Nigel:



Elizabeth's photos of the erection of the memorial at Rose Cottage.

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On the 18th of December, it was moved to its site at Townend, Thurlstone, and installed there by an excellent team from Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council:

Jim Milner. January 2014.
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Jim's photos of the installation.

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The memorial was given to the village by Roger, Jim, Elizabeth and Nigel.

Jim Milner. November 2014.



Other contact details ...

www.hillsidequarry.co.uk - Roger Hunt. Hillside Quarry, Thurlstone - suppliers of Quality Yorkshire Stone.

www.nigeltyas.co.uk - Nigel Tyas. Nigel Tyas ironwork, Millhouse Green - designer and manufacturer of traditionally made wrought iron lighting.

Dave Bedford. Undercliffe Stones - Contact telephone : 0113 2537442 / 07736 523154.

Thurlstone Community Group - thurlstonecg@gmail.com

Marc Wilmot Photography - marc@dmsqd.com



© JIM MILNER 2016 • milner44@btinternet.com • 01226 763124