AN ARTWORK inspired by the history of a Durham neighbourhood has been unveiled by a leading North-East sculptor.

The 2m tall piece, created by County Durham-based artist Graeme Hopper, has been installed in Oswald Court, Durham.

Named St Oswald's Arch, it captures the origin of the name Elvet – said to derive from the old English word for swan, elfetu – and its links to the River Wear.

Mr Hopper said: “This has been a lovely and satisfying project to work on. I hope the residents enjoy the sculpture and garden for many, many years to come."

The £8,000 quarter ton structure features a pair of swans in flight, set against a large arch, inspired by the arches on Elvet Bridge.

It also includes large steel bulrushes, a reference to the River Wear.

The Northern Echo:

St Oswald's Arch

It was funded by councillors for Elvet and Gilesgate and by housing association believe housing.

Elvet councillor Richard Ormerod said: “I love the sculpture. It’s eye-catching but without taking over the green.

"Many thanks are due to Graeme Hopper, the artist, to believe housing for making it happen, and to all those in the Oswald Court community who worked so hard to plant the flowers in the surrounding area. It’s a real boost.”

Ian Porter, director of neighbourhoods and customer services at believe housing, said: “The residents of Oswald Court work so hard to make their neighbourhood the colourful oasis that it is. It’s amazing to think that it’s just around the corner from the centre of Durham.

“This sculpture has been designed to complement their work and Graeme has done a great job capturing the history of Elvet in such an eye-catching way.”

Residents of Oswald Court have been working hard on a planting scheme, to contribute to Durham's entry to the Britain in Bloom competition.