The plans for Harlow New Town outlined that the first quarter to be completed would be Mark Hall/Netteswell neighbourhood clusters, with the Stow as it’s core hub. This focus was carried through in housing design, the nearby residential area Orchard Croft was immediately to the west of the Stow shopping centre and connected directly to the pedestrian walkways.
As part of the New Town development St Andrews was the first church to be built within the town with close proximity to the Stow. Also within the area is Our Lady of Fatima Catholic church, designed by Gerard Goelen in 1960. Notably the church also features on the album cover of The Chemical Brothers album ‘brothers gonna work it out’.
As part of the New Town designs Harlow had over 30 works of art which would be placed in different urban locations. In 1952, the first commissioned sculpture in Harlow’s collection was Chiron by Mary Spencer Watson. It was commissioned to honour Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953. Watson’s brief was to express the idea of community. She chose to depict Chiron, a centaur from Greek mythology whose ability as a teacher of many different arts drew pupils from far and wide. His cave, she thought ‘was surely an early form of community’. Chiron is located in a square outside Moot House. Sir Frederick Gibberd said that he wanted this ‘little square’ to be ‘the focus for Community life’. Moot House still hosts arts and community events. Chiron is made of limestone and contains fossils of marine life – which connects to the fossil collection at Harlow Museum nearby.
What to see at Harlow Museum?
Harlow Museum & Walled Gardens showcases the development of Harlow as a New Town and the designs from master planner Sir Frederick Gibberd, this can be seen within the New Town Gallery. The gallery also features details on sculptures and artwork which can be found throughout the town.Learn more about Harlow Museum here