Sculptor Tony Roberts of Knockin Heath was inspired to create a tribute in glass to Old Oswestry Hillfort after hearing about plans to develop houses in its historical setting.

He has since donated his stunning creation to local hillfort campaign, HOOOH (Hands Off Old Oswestry Hillfort), for a fundraising raffle.

The unusual sculpture is carved with ancient Celtic glyphs or symbols which spell out ‘Caer Ogyrfan’, translated as City of Ogyrfan. This was an early name for the 3,000 year old earthwork taken from the Welsh chieftain, Ogyrfan, of Arthurian legend. He was the father of Gwenhwyfar (Guinevere), King Arthur’s queen who is said to have been born on the hillfort.

Mr Roberts said: “The glyphs are phonetic and read from the bottom up. They are based on Ogham script, an Old Irish text found in inscriptions on the corners of stone monuments in Ireland, Scotland and Wales from the 3rd to the 6th century.”

The sculpted symbols were formed using a technique called kiln carving where molten glass is poured onto a precast glass base and carved while still hot and soft.

Organised by artist and hillfort campaigner, Diana Baur, the raffle raised £95 for the HOOOH campaign which has been promoting awareness of OId Oswestry’s plight and lobbying support.

Raffle winner, John Alderson of Crewe, recently visited the Willow Gallery to collect his prize and meet its creator. He entered the raffle after seeing the sculpture on show as part of the gallery’s recent Painting with Words exhibition staged in association with Oswestry Lit Fest. “I feel very lucky to have won such a unique and wonderful piece of art,” he said. “It is encouraging to see people come together to campaign so passionately for the protection of such an important monument from damaging development.”


Two out of three proposed housing sites in the shadow of Old Oswestry have been removed from Shropshire Council’s SAMDev plan

following overwhelming opposition. HOOOH submitted a 21 page response challenging the soundness of the remaining site, OSW004

with 117 houses, as part of the final public consultation on SAMDev which closed at the end of April. 

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You can view more of Tony’s stunning glass works during Oswestry Open Studios event on 14/15 and 21/22 of June. Tony is also running  a glass casting demonstration strictly for those over the age of 14 on Sunday 14th June – More details on the BVA website