Wrought iron gates restored for Armistice Day
Gates restored in time for Armistice Day
By Diana Henderson
Unusually, the gates, which stand in Upton Country Park, Poole commemorate two soldiers who survived the carnage of the First World War.
Made in 1919 they were originally erected by William Llewellin, owner of Upton House until 1957, in gratitude at the return of both of his sons from the Great War.
An inscription on a small metal plaque fixed to the gate reads: “In thankfulness to God for the safe return from the Great War of his sons William Wigan Capt. 4th Battn. Dorset Regt. from India and Mesopotamia and John Jestyn M.C. Major 52nd Siege Battery from France. These Gates were erected by William Llewellin, Sheriff of Dorset. August 1919.”
Major Llewellin won his MC in 1917, became MP for Uxbridge in 1929 and was a Minister in Winston Churchill’s Second World War government before becoming Baron Llewellin in 1945.
The ornate scrolled gates stand at the north-west corner of the walled garden and took five weeks skilled work to restore.
“We stripped them back to the bare metal, coated them to prevent them rusting, completely redecorated and hung them,” said Giles. “I had to replace one or two of the scrolls.”
These are the oldest gates on the estate and he is also renovating some of the others. “I have done a few memorial benches, including one for the Rifle Brigade at Chepstow, at Verwood and Winton. They are commemorating the loss of someone,” he said.
“It’s quite nice to see something written where they survived.”