National Recording Project


Detail from: Memorial to 158 Squadron by Peter W. Naylor, 2009

Ionic Order


Type Sculpture

     This sculpture is a simplified representation of a Ionic column. Inspired by Wolverhampton's coat of arms, it was intended as a symbol of hope and light, illustrating Wolverhampton's motto, 'Out of the Darkness Cometh Light'. The column itself is taken from the ancient pillar in St Peter's Churchyard, which appears on the coat of arms. The reason the sculptor gave for choosing the Ionic order for the column is that the volute form of the capital recalls rams' horns, and can thereby be related to Wolverhampton's historically important wool industry. The column included fibre-optics and water jets though these no longer function. In view of this, it no longer serves to illustrate the idea of light coming from darkness.
     The sculpture was the idea of Gurdev Singh Raj, who also contributed towards the cost of the work. The overall cost was £25,000 which was part funded by an Inner Areas Grant. The sculptor Hugh Tessier was hired through the Public Arts Commissions Agency. The work was unveiled by the Mayor Surjan Singh Duhra. The sculpture proved unpopular with both the Wolverhampton Civic Society and local residents, and due to its current state some believe it should be destroyed. Mr Raj who currently lives in the Penn area of Wolverhampton believes the sculpture should be restored.


Plaque on pedestal: Commissioned by Wolverhampton Borough Council/ With assistance form the Department of the Environment/ through the Inner Area Programme./ SPONSORS/ British Steel Stainless/ Applied Lighting Technology/ Manufactured by BIRCH ENGINEERING Plaque on pedestal: IONIC ORDER/ Hugh Tessier/ OCTOBER 1991/ Initiated through the inspiration and generosity of/ Gurdev Singh Rai/ "Peace, Hope, and Justice for all"

Contributor details

Contributor Role
Tessier, Hugh Sculptor

Element details

Part of work Material Dimensions
Pedestal Brick None
Column Steel 500cm high approx

PMSA recording information

Reference Region
WMwvWVxx026 BM
General condition Poor
Surface condition
  • Biological growth
  • Corrosion, Deterioration
  • Surface spalling, crumbling
Structural condition
  • Broken, missing parts
  • Water collection
  • Graffiti
  • Surface damage
Road Pipers Row
Precise location In front of the Queens Café at the Bus Station
A-Z ref 30 1A
OS ref None

Sorry, we have no precise geographical information for this item.

Date of design None
Year of unveiling 1991
Unveiling details Unveiled 18 October 1991
Commissioned by Gurdev Singh Raj
Duty of care Wolverhampton Metropolitan Borough Council
Listing status Not listed
At risk? At Risk

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