ONE of Winchester’s best-known statues has been listed as an important 20th century public sculpture by Historic England.

The Horse and Rider sculpture by Dame Elisabeth Frink has been standing on the High Street since the early 1980s.

Historic England says the listings is for several reasons including its “high artistic and aesthetic quality, cast in bronze from plaster, subtly detailed and well-composed” and its historic interest as a cast of a piece originally commissioned by a commercial developer from the internationally renowned artist Dame Elisabeth Frink.

The cast in Winchester was erected in 1983. It was the last of the three casts and was initially loaned to Hampshire County Council by Elisabeth Frink’s agent, Leslie Waddington, for a summer open air exhibition in 1981.

Christopher Gordon, the former county arts officer, initiated the application to have the statue listed.

He said: “When Historic England announced in early 2016 that it had awarded Grade I and II listings to over 40 important post-1945 public sculptures, I was pleased to see that Elisabeth Frink’s Horse and Rider was included – but only its London bronze casting.

“Knowing that the sculpture exists in an edition of three – one is in the USA – I contacted Historic England to suggest that the Winchester cast should really also be afforded the same level of national protection.

“The London statue has quite recently been moved from its somewhat degraded original site at Green Park, but I knew from my close involvement in organising the 1981 Hampshire County Council open air exhibition of works by Frink that the artist herself was particularly happy about the Winchester location and siting of the loaned work.”