Popular sundial returns as part of revamped St Martin’s Square, Basildon

A popular sundial designed by artist Tam Giles has been returned to its original resting place in St Martin’s Square following improvement works which form part of the major redevelopment of Basildon town centre.

The sundial was temporarily removed in the summer to make way for the next phase of improvements to St Martin’s Square.

Mayor of Basildon, Cllr David Dadds JP, was on site to lay one of the last stones on the sundial.

He said: “It was important that popular elements of St Martin’s Square were retained in the works to improve the look and feel of the square. I am delighted to be here to lay one of the final pieces of what is a beautiful part of the square which will be enjoyed by visitors.”

All the improvement works have been undertaken by Thomas Sinden.

Director of Thomas Sinden, Des Thomas, added: “We are really proud to be contractor for the redevelopment of St Martin’s Square. As part of our work we had to temporarily remove the popular sundial and refurbish the bronze, provide new stone and relocate to complete the work.

“Seeing the reinstatement of Tam Giles’ sundial is a significant step towards the completion of our work and we are delighted to see it back in its rightful place.”

The works, which are due to be complete early next year include extensive landscape improvements to St Martin’s Square and St Martin’s Church Gardens including the area around the Bell Tower.

The improvements to the public areas will cost £2million. The project is supported by Homes England and South Essex College.

Thomas Sinden was appointed by Basildon Council in 2017 for the redevelopment of the entire market square and access ways areas including the creation of 46 new off-site fabricated kiosks for the market traders. The works involved new electrics, water, drainage and data to serve the kiosk and construction of a new services building for the marketplace.

Thomas Sinden carried out the work whilst the shopping centre remained fully operational. With careful and strategic use of temporary barriers and traffic management techniques, these public realm works were undertaken in phase and out of hours periods to minimise the disruption and ensure the town centre stores remained open and trading.

Thomas Sinden was subsequently awarded Phase II of the Basildon Town Centre Regeneration, involving extensive landscape improvements to St Martin’s Square and St Martin’s Church Gardens which adjoins the new market.