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Mad Hatter’s Copse and Alice in Wonderland sculpture trail
As well as protecting the heritage of Sir Richard Hotham, founder of the town, and the Park’s status as a conservation area, as created by William Fletcher, Hotham Park Heritage Trust is dedicated to improving the facilities within the Park for everyone. This is achieved, in the main, by raising funds at our events. We are then able to fund either entirely, or make a contribution towards, various attractions.
A recent addition to the Park was a magnificent hand-carved wooden sculpture which was installed in April 2017 and is situated in the ‘Mad Hatter’s Copse’ to the east of the Mary Macfie pavilion. It was crafted by Simon Groves and depicts the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party from the story of Alice in Wonderland. The design is an 8ft x 2.5ft table with clocks in each corner, playing cards down the centre and 8 mushrooms as seating, with the Mad Hatter as a separate figure. It will be a permanent feature in the Park and we hope it will be enjoyed by everyone for many years to come.
The theme of Alice in Wonderland was chosen by children from local schools and the full cost of the sculpture was met from funds raised at the Hotham Park Heritage Trust Country Fair which was held over the first weekend of August 2016. We are also delighted to annouce that income from the 2017 Country Fair has allowed us to unveil even more sculptures. These are of Alice, the White Rabbit and Queen of Hearts and the unveiling was on 27 May 2018. Make sure you follow the trail next time you are in the Park!
To continue improving the Park we need to raise more funds and hope you will help us achieve this by making our events even bigger and better. If you can assist us in any way please do not hesitate to contact us. You, your ideas and help will be most welcome.
As our main motivation is to protect the Park and improve the facilities for everyone we have been delighted to see families enjoy this new sculpture, as seen in the pictures below. Long may this continue!
It took Simon 15 days to carve the Mad Hatter figure and picnic table. All the pieces weigh just over a ton in total and were carved using a chainsaw with sanding by Simon’s assistant, Harrison, to take the roughness off. It is Simon’s seventh year as a sculptor and this is one of the largest things he has made. Here are some pictures of the carving in progress.
For a slideshow of the Flora and Fauna in the Park, click here.
© Hotham Park Heritage Trust – Registered Charity Number 1117011