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The Statue Of Prince Henry St. Clair At Noss
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Thursday 30 May 2002
Sunday 12 May
Friday 10 May 2002 was a momentous day for the Clan Sinclair Centre at Noss. A definite sign that plans long laid are beginning to come together. The arrival of a more than symbolic piece of sculpture in the huge stone carved figure of Prince Henry Sinclair.
The statue that has been transported from the sculptor Shawn Wiliamson's workshop in Cumbria will be finished on the site over the weekend. The figure has been carved from a 10 ton block of stone and requires the finishing details to be finalised. From Friday to Monday Shawn and his apprentice Richard Chambers will be working from early in the morning till late at night.
Shawn Williams is sculptor to the clan Sinclair and in his own family history is related to both Sinclairs and Gunns. His list of work has been growing and he currently is master mason and sculptor in charge of a world heritage project Gorton Monastery in Manchester. His apprentice has been with him for two and a half years and has according to Shawn acquired a very high level of skills in that time.
Shawn's family came from Caithness three centuries ago and he is proud to have this current connection to the clan. When funding is in place it is envisaged that Shawn will lead the restoration work on Sinclair and Girnigoe Castles. His own web site shows a some of the work he has been involved in. He has been training young people and all being well it is the intention that a major training project would become part of the work at Sinclair and Girnigoe.
Check out his web site at www.sculptureint.com
Shawn's credentials are impressive and he traces his training and connections through some of the most famous sculptors. He was trained by Josephina De Vason Cellos now in her nineties who was trained by Bourdella who in turn was trained by one of the worlds most famous sculptors - Rodin. This is what is influencing the hewn rock now standing at Clan Sinclair Centre, Noss Head. A sculpture nearly 10 feet high of a figure being made by the hand of a Sinclair guided by generations of sculptors leaders in their fields for several generations. A significant symbol of the rising Clan Sinclair Centre in Caithness. The figure has been faced towards Orkney where Jarl Henry Sinclair would have set out from on his many journeys to and from Caithness and across the world and according to the legends even America.
Just as the sculpture is appearing like a hand from the past the whole site is under varying degrees of construction and improvement. From the templars chapel or preceptory (Militi Templi Scotia) being created in the old stable block where the Caithness stone floor will be left and the walls whitened and when completed a blue ceiling and special glass blocks in the narrow slit windows. Other work b is going on at other buildings on the site and a walled garden will be recreated within the old Noss Lighthouse garden.
With seemingly boundless energy the talk was of the restoration of the castles nearby, long term training schemes the building of a visitor centre for the castles near the entrance of the Noss site, a small nature reserve, tree planting. It is all beginning to happen and the sculpture seems to bring with it the assurance that all the Sinclairs and confidence of past adventures are being wrapped into these new projects. The Sinclair library being recreated is already a fact with hundreds of books many rare finds already filling the shelves of the centre. The air of confidence certainly seems to be fulfilled with this emergence of Henry Sinclair.
The statue will be seen by many people including a large contingent of visitors to the Sinclair mini Gathering taking place in the last week of May. Many more will see it over the coming decades.
Ian Sinclair is inviting local children accompanied with an adult to visit the site and under the sculptors supervision hit the chisel with a mallet to take a chip from the statue. Phone Noss Lighthouse 606700 and take your camera to get a unique photo as this statue is completed over Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May. Please phone before setting off.