Living in military dense Wiltshire, you get used to seeing soldiers coming and going. You don’t notice them after a while, really. There is one soldier around here though, who is very hard to miss.

The Hauntings

Standing six metres high and created from scrap metal, ‘The Hauntings’ represents a battle weary soldier returning from The First World War. He is designed to evoke the trauma suffered by those who have endured battle; and the difficulties endured by so many upon their return.

The imposing sculpture was created by Martin Galbavy and Chris Hannam of Dorset Forge & Fabrication. The nuts and bolts of the sculpture are, well, literally nuts and bolts. The soldier has been crafted from nuts and bolts, old horse shoes, chains, brake discs.

Things Helen Loves, The Hauntings@ Antrobus House, close up of soldier sculpture created fromscrap metal

The soldier depicted wears the cap badge of the Royal Artillery. Very fitting, given that the home of the modern day Royal Artillery is located just a few miles away. That in itself would be neat local connection, but there is also an interesting bit history connected to the exact location of this sculpted soldier.

Antrobus House, Amesbury

Antrobus House is a Grade II listed beauty. Queen Anne in style set in extensive gardens behind smart iron railings, it looks like it was built to be the quintessentially English country home. The sort of place that might be built by a wealthy family needing a rural escape from London life.

The backstory of Antrobus House is much more interesting than that.

The house was commissioned by Lady Florence Antrobus as a memorial to her only son, Lt Edmund Antrobus of the Grenadier Guards. He went to fight in WW1 and was killed on October 24th near Ypres. He was 27 years old.

Upon her own death, Lady Florence left a substantial sum of money and the express request that the house be built and used for the benefit of the local community. Her legacy endures; to this day the house is run as a community facility and is managed by the Lady Antrobus Trust.

Beautiful, historic Antrobus House is now a wedding venue, events space, host venue for fitness classes and local clubs. Part of the local history, heart of the modern community.

Antrobus House Open Days

‘ The Hauntings’ is on loan to Antrobus House until the end of April 2023. The sculpture can be clearly viewed from the street but it is also possible to get a closer look at the soldier and the interior of the house on a guided tour.

Open day tours are arranged according to demand so pre-booking is essential. It is requested that a donation of £3 per person or £5 per couple is made. In part, these donations will help fund a smaller permanent sculpture the trust hopes to commission in the future.

Find all the details of Antrobus House here

Things Helen Loves, The Hauntings@ Antrobus House. Image of soldier made of c=scrap metal.

If you enjoyed this post, try these ones next: The Bulford Kiwi, Wiltshire and Cholderton: An Old Wiltshire Village.

Helen x

36 thoughts

  1. I find the sculpture deeply disturbing, Helen, but so it should be. How many sons have been lost in this fashion and will continue to be lost and to what purpose? Defending democracy? It’s asad ruination of so many lives..

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      I always feel a bit conflicted on these things Jo, adamant that the service should be celebrated but deeply sad at the loss. I’m watching a TV series set in WW1 France just now and cannot fathom that the world plunged into war again less than half a century later.

      1. While I’m reading a book set in the 1400s with a background of the conflict between England and Wales and a very bloody struggle for independence. Some things never change, it seems.

  2. Geoff Le Pard says:

    Like most families I have had family boh return and not return from that ghastly conflict. Those who returned were afflicted for their lives, dying early, taking their own lives having their personalities forever damaged. He- the sculpture – is so poignant and brings a tear. Not an expected start to Saturday!

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      I’m glad the sculpture touched you Geoff, he’s stirred up some interest here in Wiltshire. I’m passionate about preserving the history of those who go to battle. Thanks for taking the time to read and leave a comment.

  3. The Haunting sculpture is astonishing. A very interesting post Helen. Thank you.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Thankyou, it’s certainly a sculpture with impact! Glad you found the post interesting.

  4. The Haunting sculpture is quite astonishing, almost as a ghost-like figure. Did you know that a memorial to those killed in First World War was briefly in Dublin’s Stephens Green Park, too? Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      I love the idea of temporary, travelling memorials alongside permanent ones. I’d like to visit Dublin one day. Thanks so much for stopping by, wishing you a lovely day.

  5. The sculpture is certainly thought provoking and quite awe inspiring.x

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      He is quite something!

  6. That sculpture is amazing and really lives up to its title. Despite the materials used you can tell that this is indeed a soldier haunted by his experiences. I particularly like your last shot as it make him look as if he could be out in a field somewhere perhaps contemplating a past or future battle. where will it go once it leaves Antrobus House, do you know?

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      I’m not sure where he will move on to, but I do know Antrobus House is working to commission a smaller version for permanent display.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Thanks Marion, I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      The Hauntings and the house are both very eye-catching. I liked the history behind the house too, and the fact that it’s still used as Lady Florence intended.

  7. Thanks for sharing this Helen. I agree with others that the statue is impressive. Makes you stop and think. What struck me was the fact that he’s wearing his poppy in remembrance of his fallen comrades

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Yes, I liked his poppy. An artillery cap badge too.

  8. Hello- thanks for an interesting post. I love old beautiful homes- and the fact that this one can be used by the public is really wonderful! I teach English in Japan at a historical home. It’s a lovely place.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Oh a historic home in Japan sounds amazing. Japan is a real bucket list destination for me! Thanks so much for your interest in my post about Antrobus House, and apologies for the late reply. Your comment slipped through to spam and has been awaiting approval. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.

      1. Hi Helen! I totally understand about thing’s slipping into spam! No worries! I enjoy your posts! Looking forward to more🙂

  9. What a tribute to her son, and her and his legacies live on. The sculpture is quite moving, I always feel so affected by the thought of these young men who had no idea what they were about to face on the battlefields. Even if you survived, life could never possibly be the same again.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Difficult to fathom that the world plunged into war all over again just twenty years later. I’d like to say never again but we never seem to learn.

  10. I think “The Hauntings” is aptly-named. It is a thought-provoking work and certainly that is what is hoped for. The Antrobus House is a wonderful gift to the community, and a symbol of the great legacy Lady Florence achieved.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Antrobus House is a real asset to the community, and a tribute to those left behind as well as the soldiers who made the greatest sacrifice.

  11. ‘The Hauntings’ – what a brilliant name. Memories haunt the soldier, and the sculpture haunts us with its choice of material perhaps the most. Thrown away, disused bits that compose a weary and displaced body. Antrobus House seems a fitting place for the sculpture. It’s a sad and painful story converted into something good and beneficial for the community. Thanks for sharing, Helen, I loved these two memorials and their juxtaposition.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Thanks Leighton, I wasn’t sure about hitting publish on this one as it’s such a local story and Amesbury is in deepest, darkest military Wiltshire. I’m happy that The Hauntings is getting some appreciation.

  12. What an interesting post, thanks for sharing. Antrobus House looks beautiful!

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      It is a beautiful house, with a touching back story.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      It certainly makes an impact doesn’t it? Thankyou for taking the time to read and comment, appreciate it.

  13. It looks like a great place to visit. The sculpture is beautiful and very grand. Thank you for sharing your pictures.

    Lauren – bournemouthgirl

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Thank you so much, it’s a beautiful place and I was happy to share it.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Thank you for linking my post, appreciate it!

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