School mosaic takes pride of place after being preserved by Brierley Homes

A mosaic designed by village schoolchildren has been preserved for posterity, thanks in part to Brierley Homes.

North Yorkshire County Council’s housing development company, Brierley Homes is building a number of properties in the picturesque village of Swainby.

The Whorlton Meadows scheme, which includes a mix of two, three and four-bedroom homes, is on the site of the former Swainby and Potto Primary School.

It was here in 1999 that children from the school designed the mosaic with the help of the charity, Rural Arts.

Sited on the floor of a new classroom, the mosaic is a rectangle within a circle and incorporates flowers and wildlife seen locally.

The Whorlton Meadows development will breathe new life into the school site, which has stood empty since it closed at the end of 2017.

The buildings are being demolished to make way for the new homes, but before the area was cleared, local resident and parish councillor, Jonathan Skidmore, asked if the mosaic could be preserved.

“Workers happily gave their time to recover the mosaic,” said Jonathan.

“Since it was recovered, a former secretary at the school who worked there for over 20 years has been in touch happy that it has been saved.” 

He added: “The parish council has restored a historic pin fold, or sheep pen, located opposite the Blacksmiths Arms pub and the mosaic is now located in there.”

Brierley Homes’ Construction Manager, Stuart Ede, said he was delighted the company had been able to preserve a piece of local history.

“We pride ourselves on working with the communities in which we are building new homes and so when we were asked if the mosaic could be saved we were happy to help,” he said.

“The children had put a lot of time and effort into its design and it would have been a great shame if it had been lost. It is fantastic to know it will now take pride of place in the village and generations to come will be able to see it.”

Rural Arts director and CEO, Max May, said: “Rural Arts is absolutely thrilled that this mosaic has been saved. We’ve been bringing creativity to the heart of communities since 1993 and its brilliant to know that, as we approach our 30th birthday, our long legacy is as safe as our bright future.”

Brierley Homes was established in 2017 by North Yorkshire County Council and the value it generates is used to support frontline council services across North Yorkshire.

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