You are here: Activities > Public Art Sculpture Trail

Public Art Sculpture Trail

Public Art Sculpture Trail

Contact Information


Click to enlarge images below:


A number if pieces of art have been installed along the length of the Huddersfield Canal through Oldham, to reflect images of life on the canal. These have been designed by a number of local artists, with the inspiration from local school children. They fall into three areas: gateways features along the length of the canal, a mural in Dobcross and play areas in Diggle. The trail is made up of 6 art forms 4 of which were created by Kerry Morrison.

1 Royal Ferns
The first gateway feature is located at Calf Lane, Feiezland and is entitled ‘Royal Ferns.’ This sculpture is located next to the aqueduct on the border of Oldham and Tameside, making the beginning or the end of this section of the canal with in the Boriugh of Oldham. ‘Royal Ferns’ depicts the flora of the canal side, with the Royal Fern being a species of fern found within saddleworth. The unfuling fronds are carved from oak and stand between 1 and 2 metres in height.

2 Hill Shelter
The second gateway feature is located at Manns Wharf in Greenfield Primary School and Friezland primary school. This feature ‘Hill Shelter’ is constructed from oak panels arranged into an arc. The top contour of the shelter will follow the hill top horizon line behind the sculpture. The shelter reflects the shape of the hills that dominate the Saddleworth landscape.

3 I love it here
The third site, at Water Gate, Uppermill is entitled ‘I Love It Here’ and was inspired by ideas from children at Holy Trinity Primary School, Dobcross and St Chads Primary School, Uppermill. The site is in the centre of Uppermill, at the point where the river bows and runs within metres of the canal. This is a feature which is designed to be sat on. It consists of three slabs of stone, which echo the stepping stones across the river and twenty two cast pebbles interwoven with sculpted bulrush leaves. The title of the sculpture comes from a poem written by children,

4 Past present and future

A mural, painted by Mark Whyatt inspired by pupils from Saddleworth School, had has been installed underneath the bridge at Wool Road. The mural, entitled ‘Past Present and future’ explores the Canal’s journey through space and time by reflecting ideas connected with the past construction, use and future uses. The mural features images such as the Mason’s marks which were found by the canal heyday.

5 Through Heathered hills

Final feature at Ward Lane Diggle, designed by the children from a local primary school. ‘Through Heathered hills’ compromises a number of carved wooded heather flowers and a metal work gateway, representing the Stanedge Tunnel entrance. The idea of heather flowers came from the surrounding hills, in the autumn they are covered in purple hur from the flowering heather.

6 Themed play areas

Two pieced of the play equipment have also been installed in Diggle. The first adjancent to Ward Lane is in the shape of a boat, to reflect the importance of the canal area. The second is located on Diggle Fields, and comprises equipment for older children, in the form of an obstacle course. The two areas are linked by a mini sculpture trail, designed by Ann Gilligan depicting creatures which inhabit the depths of the Standedge Tunnel.

Search Activities


Itinerary Planner

Welcome to the Itinerary Planner. Use this tool to build your own journey.

Click Add to Itinerary to add an item to your Itinerary basket.