This bench was installed on Stokeleigh Camp Iron Age hill fort, at Leigh Woods near Bristol. It was commissioned by the National Trust to commemorate the centenary of the land being given to the Trust by the Wills family.
The oak used came from trees felled in the same woods and the timber was milled, carved and the bench constructed on site during the summer of 2009.
The bench is 2.75 metres (9 feet) long. As the site is heavily protected, the design had to be sturdy enough not to require fixing to the ground and it could not be raised up on slabs or similar.
The carvings show aspects of the natural history and ancient history of the area. Researching them was really enjoyable – including holding locally-found artefacts such as a Celtic bronze torc, which was around two thousand years old, at Bristol Museum.
Here are some examples of the carvings on the bench. This dormouse is hibernating with its tail wrapped around it. Dormice live in the surrounding woods and are quite rare.
This beautiful triskele design came from the end of a Celtic torc that was discovered in the River Avon at nearby Clevedon. The original is gold and can now be seen in the British Museum.