The Golden Hand Sculpture – Mansfield, England - Atlas Obscura

The Golden Hand Sculpture

Mansfield, England

Constructed 20 years ago, this sculpture is slowly fading to the hands of time.  

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This 10-foot-high sculpture of a human hand was created by an artistic cooperative called BANK well over 20 years ago. It was crafted as part of a national cycling network project, organized by the charity Sustrans. From afar, it appears to be constructed of metal, however, it’s in fact made from fiberglass.

The organization is no longer around, making it difficult to know the meaning behind the work of art. The sculpture provides an interesting focal point in the popular Vicar Water Country Park, which was originally established during the 1870s as a decorative water feature for the Duke of Portland.

The area was eventually made into a public park, although between the 1920s and 1970s, it was used as a dumping ground for waste from coal mines. Its conversion back to recreational use occurred during the 1980s and became the perfect setting for the sculpture. From one angle, the hand appears to be grasping the two large headstocks of the now-closed Clipstone Colliery.

Unfortunately, the fiberglass structure is suffering from the ravages of time and unless the park authority acts soon, the sculpture may not last more than a few more years.

Know Before You Go

Found in the Vicar Water Country Park. Free parking (voluntary payment requested).

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Dr Alan P Newman
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