A HEDGE on a roundabout in Northwich is now the toast of the London art scene.

Taking pride of place atop a hill on the roundabout where Monarch Drive meets the A553, Kingsmead’s turret-shaped hedge is featuring in a photography exhibition, Close to the Hedge, at a trendy art gallery in the capital.

Photographer, Gareth Gardner, who is the exhibition’s curator, took his picture of the hedge in 2015 when he was passing through Northwich, and says he was ‘genuinely blown away by it’.

“I had to pull the car over to the side of the road and yell to my friend to grab the camera,” he said.

Northwich Guardian: Gareth says the hedge reminds him of motte-and-bailey castleGareth says the hedge reminds him of motte-and-bailey castle (Image: Google)

The exhibition, which opens on Friday, April 26, in Deptford in southeast London, has been getting a lot of media attention, and is even the subject of a national Guardian article, published on Wednesday, April 24.

The Kingsmead hedge is now nationally famous, which Gareth thinks is no more than it deserves, and will be one of many pictures of hedges on show which he has collected from other hedge-obsessed photographers around the world.

He added: “When I saw it, I thought, surely this hedge is already famous, but I couldn’t find much about it anywhere. I was just transfixed.

“It’s really grand. It’s definitely one of the best ones I’ve seen.

“I discovered it while I was travelling around the UK for a photography project, using mostly trunk roads.  

“Then, lo and behold, there it was. There was no way I wasn’t stopping to photograph that roundabout.

“It looks a lot like a motte-and-bailey castle to me, up on its little hill.

“I took the picture in 2015, and I don’t know what state its in at the moment, but looking at Google Maps, it seems to be quite well maintained.

“I’m so pleased, considering how much councils’ budgets are strained.

“It’s in a section of the exhibition called Subtopiary. There a term – subtopia - coined by architectural critic Ian Nairn. It refers to the substandard utopia you find in suburbia.

“Hedges are such an important part of the British landscape. You’ve got the rural ones, the ones in front of people’s houses, and they’ve all got different meanings and associations.

“I do quite like them, and when I decided to do an exhibition about them, I was expecting hardly anyone to send me pictures. But it just went crazy.

“People have said they didn’t realise others were obsessed with hedges too. It’s been a bit like hedge group therapy.”

Close to the Hedge: The irresistible allure of hedges, topiary, shrubs and planted boundaries, opens at the Gareth Gardner Gallery in Deptford on Friday, April 26. 

There was also a ‘privet’ view for invited guests on Thursday, April 25.

Gareth added: “Since the article in The Guardian, I’ve been inundated with more pictures of hedges. It’s actually gone a bit crazy.

“We’re thinking we’ll do a book about them. We’ve already had interest from a publisher.

“I truly hope the good people of Northwich like my picture.”