The town has some prominent artwork, but some other hidden gems you might have to stop to find
The Thames-side town of Maidenhead has a long history including Roman villas and being part of the legacy of the great engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
The town is a highly desirable place to live, and has some of the highest house prices in the country.
Parts of it are also largely building sites, with huge new developments either underway or in the pipeline.
e headed out to Maidenhead to have a look at its historical landmarks, big and small, around the town.
Some are impressive, some are a bit run down, and some are likely to be things people walk past every day without noticing.
Here’s what we found:
White Lion statue, High Street
This sculpture is dedicated to the extraordinary work of Sir Nicholas Winton.
It is outside the Coppa Club in High Street.
It represents the highest order of the Czech Republic, which is called the Order of the White Lion.
Sir Nicholas is famous for his incredible work for saving hundreds of children, largely Jewish, from the Czech Republic before the start of World War Two.
He lived in Maidenhead for many years after the war, and the statue pays tribute to his life-saving work.
The magnificent Jubilee Clock Tower
This isn’t really something you could miss, but it is something thousands of people might glance at every day as they drive past.
It’s also fenced off, so having a really good look at it is tricky.
The grade II listed clock tower celebrates Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee (60 years) in 1897 and is opposite Maidenhead Train Station.
Work started on building it two years later.
It was designed by local architect EJ Shrewsbury and built by Charles Cox & Son.
Shrewsbury also designed the Technical Institute in Marlow Road and St Peter’s Church in Furze Platt, among other churches in the town.
There is an entrance door, presumably for people who need to get inside to fix it, or change it come the end of winter and autumn.
It also has a drinking fountain.
One side features a commemorative stone plaque, which says: “Erected to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of her most gracious majesty Queen Victoria, who completed the sixtieth year of a reign unparalleled for progress in all that makes happiness for the human race. God Save the Queen.”
Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s impressive railway bridge
You can’t miss this one, most likely because it is the biggest railway bridge in Europe, at a whopping 778 feet long.
Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel it contains two of the widest and flattest arches ever constructed from bricks.
Each arch is 128 feet wide and 24 feet high.
It was controversial at the time, as critics thought it would collapse into the River Thames when a train went over it.
The bridge built in 1838 is also known as Maidenhead Viaduct and The Sounding Arch.
The mural between West Street and Kidwells Park
This is just the sort of thing you could walk past every day and never stop to look at.
It was added as part of a project to refurbish public underpasses and reads “from a silent hamlet to a multi-tongued town. Heredity melts a gentle wash over sharp new contours.”
This very much sounds like a reference of the change from the old Maidenhead to the new Maidenhead over the course of time.
The plaque honouring the work of a former Mayor
This is at foot level, and could easily be walked past.
It’s a plaque at the entrance to Kidwells Park, acknowledging the effort of the town’s former Mayor.
JDM Pearce was mayor a whopping five times, between the years of 1856 and 1890.
An tremendous effort, and dedication to the town.
What is also remarkable is that he donated the park itself to the town.
The park now contains a skate park and a First World War memorial.
Inscription on Maidenhead Post Office
This inscription in the old Maidenhead Post Office is something you could easily miss.
It’s way below eye level, and refers to another former Mayor.
This time it’s JF Simpson, who laid the brick as the post office was being built in 1892.
The building closed in 2016 and remains empty.
The Kulture Wall
This was installed as a public art feature near the Magnet Leisure Centre in Holmanleaze.
It was developed by David Hill, then director of Norden Farm Centre for the Arts as part of a project in 2001.
It was much bigger, and covered in decorations, when it was first installed.
Architecture above Jasmine Peking
We spotted this above the Jasmine Peking restaurant in High Street.
It sticks out as being a markedly different from its surroundings.
Built in 1908 the building remains in the town centre and is a reminder that its worth looking up when taking a stroll as you may spot some gorgeous buildings from times past.
Statue of Sir Nicholas Winton
This is another tribute to the heroic Mr Winton.
It’s at Maidenhead Train Station and is by Lydia Karpinska and it a popular selfie spot.
It was installed at the train station in 2010 as a tribute his incredible work.
He organised a total of eight trains from Prague to London, and helped find foster families for the refugees.
The Boy and Boat Statue
This is also the work of Lydia Karpinska.
Standing at the end of High Street as it joins King Street, the Boy and Boat Statue is a dominant landmark.
Hundreds of people walk past it every day, but what does it represent?
We contacted Lydia to find out more and discovered her inspiration dates back more than 30 years.
“l thought l would use this idea for a competition in the late 80’s that was ‘the Year of the Youth’.
“l was very lucky to win.”
She said the statue was put up in 1995 and has stood proudly ever since.
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