SCULPTURES depicting stone wells are being designed to mark the entrances of new housing developments at Wallyford.

The public artwork project for the St Clements Wells site, planned by East Lothian Developments, was outlined to members of the village’s community council at its recent AGM.

Susheila Jamieson and James Gordon, of Rachan Design, have designed large, chunky stone wells or circles with deep relief patterns, measuring six feet in diameter.

They will be positioned vertically at both entrances to the new housing development on the east and west sides of Wallyford.

Establishing a theme for the artwork involved carrying out research into the area and talking to local resident, historian and community council chairman Alister Hadden.

Mr Hadden, who was re-elected community council chairman at the AGM, said St Clements Wells farm on the south side of Wallyford, at the foot of Fa’side Hill, played a very important role in the local community as farming preceded coal mining, which became the big industrial employer.

He added that the area had one of the biggest distilleries in Scotland, which was started in 1785 by the Mylne family.

Liz Curtis of the Scottish Place-Name Society added: “Clement was a Christian in first-century Rome. He was said to have been martyred at sea with an anchor round his neck and was therefore regarded as the patron saint of sailors. The cult of Clement spread to Scandinavia in about the 11th century and then to Britain.

“St Clements Wells were probably named by Scandinavians living in the Tranent area.

“We know they were here because of the presence of a powerful landholder of likely Scandinavian descent, Thor of Tranent, son of Swain, who is mentioned in many 12th-century charters. He held extensive lands in the area and granted the church of Tranent to Holyrood Abbey.”

Mr Hadden said: “I am sure the new stone sculptures will add another piece of culture to our area when in place to the east and west sides of Wallyford alongside those we have already.

“These include the mining memorial stone and coal hutches located at St Clements Housing estate just off Salters Road, the 10 mining stones at the Wallyford Bing, a community woodland depicting different mining scenes, and also the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh memorial at the west side of Wallyford.”

The shapes and patterns proposed relate to the themes of the wells, water, ripples, distilling, agriculture and the sense of space and open skies of the site as it is now. The overall idea is that the artwork reflects past, present and future heritages of the area.

There will also be two St Clements Wells name panels per entrance in stone, either hand carved or sandblasted.

The idea for a stone village sign for Wallyford is also being explored in a design reflecting the ideas of crossing a river or burn by a ford.

A spokesman for East Lothian Developments said: “East Lothian Developments are delighted to be working with Susheila and James to deliver various artworks at St Clements Wells.

“They have shown real enthusiasm and creativity with the ideas they have brought forward to capture something of the history of St Clements Wells and design pieces which we hope will do justice to the entrances of the development, and spark interest from all those who will pass them.

“We were very grateful to the community council for their comments and input to the designs.”

Elaine Di Troia was appointed vice-chairman at the AGM, Sharon Jamieson secretary and Beryl Stevenson treasurer. Ann Patton, a member for three years, is also continuing her work as a community councillor.