Bringing history to life with Lewes District Council

Bringing history to life with Lewes District Council
HAGS SMP, market leader in outdoor play equipment and playground specialist, has teamed up with Lewes District Council to design and install a new play area in the grounds of an ancient monument.

Working with a budget of £76,000 HAGS SMP created a detailed and highly imaginative design for the Convent Field play area which lies adjacent to the remains of the 11th century Priory of St Pancras.  To address any historical sensitivities, archaeologists were involved in the installation process and on hand to advise if any relics were unearthed.
Liz Townsend, Play Architect for HAGS SMP, explains: "Our aim was to create a design that was unique but sympathetic to location and inviting to children of all ages.  The playground had to complement the existing landscape, so we created a bespoke castle design featuring a dramatic drawer bridge style entrance.
"To continue the historical theme and fire young imaginations, we commissioned a bespoke "˜Fallen Knight' skeleton sculpture.  Located in an area adjacent to the Priory Wall and buried in the raised "˜discovery sand pit', the sculpture was cast in stone and treated with a stain to give it an aged appearance."

Following consultation with local user groups, swings, a sand pit, trampoline, multi-play unit along with opportunities for climbing, sliding, crawling and role play were required and all these were included within HAGS SMP's design.  This features a basket swing for older children, cradle swings for young ones, along with a bridge and tunnel set into the landscape.

Sarah Alexander, Area Sales Manager of HAGS SMP, said: "Convent Field playground offers huge play value while being low maintenance and hardwearing. Inclusive play amongst all children was fully encouraged and we achieved this through a number of features including sand play and interactive games.  They now have the ability to explore, exercise, use their imaginations and have lots of fun with the new play equipment so it was perfect for everyone's needs."

Christopher Bibb, Project Co-Ordinator for Lewes District Council, said: "We were very impressed with the final design of the Convent Field playground.  The historical site also attracts lots of visitors so it has complemented the area perfectly, letting families enjoy the beautiful surroundings and giving children the opportunity to play in a first-class playground which combines modern equipment with a historical twist."

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