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Councillors have backed a move to put a plaque on the town’s bridge which was famously painted by John Constable in 1823.

At a meeting of the full council on Monday 22 June, councillors approved the wording for the plaque which has been drawn up by the Gillingham Local History Society.

The history society is paying for the cost of the project but town clerk Julie Hawkins said that the plaque needed planning permission and that work could only start on it with the support of the town council.

‘We need listed building consent because the bridge is  listed,’ she told councillors at the online meeting.

‘We’ve already contacted the conservation officer so there’s already permission in place for the plaque and she is okay in the words on the condition that you are happy with them. The bridges  department [at Dorset Council] is waiting for your okay and then you will give their okay.’

The original painting by Constable is in the Tate Gallery in London.

constable bridge Gillingham plaque
The wording of the new plaque


constable Gillingham painting bridge 1823
Gillingham Bridge, Dorset 1823 John Constable 1776-1837 Presented by Miss Isabel Constable 1888 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/N01244
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