based in hexham, northumberland, differentia designs interpretation for outdoor spaces including interpretation panels, interpretive structures, seats and signs.

Fife Pilgrim Way Gateway Signs

Completed Gateway Interpretation Sign at Markinch

Our commission involved the design and build element of the Gateway Interpretation Panels and the Bronze Floor discs which are installed along the route of this new long distance path.

The Gateway Panels included the creation of curved larch timber, laser cut steel, stained glass window element and aluminium interpretation panels. The bronze discs were designed and illustrated by us and were cast in Sheffield.

For 400 years, St Andrews was one of the main pilgrimage destinations in Medieval Europe. Rich and poor flocked to be near the bones of St Andrew, one of Jesus’ disciples. This was considered the next best thing to being in the Holy Land and walking in the footsteps of Jesus himself. As such, St Andrews joined ranks in terms of importance with the popular disciple destinations of Rome (St Peter) and Santiago de Compostela (St James the Great).

Completed Gateway Interpretation Sign at Ceres.

St Andrews may have been the main attraction, but pilgrims were also drawn to Dunfermline to visit St Margaret’s miraculous shrine within the abbey. A host of other saints were represented by churches, chapels and healing wells along the road to St Andrews. These provided perfect places to pause, as well as important destinations in their own right for local pilgrims.

Original Concepts for the Fife Pilgrim Way signs and structures.

Pilgrimage made a permanent mark on the landscape of Fife. Many of its roads, bridges and crossing points, including the famous Queen’s Ferry, were created hundreds of years ago to ease the way for the steady stream of pilgrims. Inns, chapels and almshouses were also built to offer the travellers a place to rest, refresh and receive medical help. Providing these facilities was, in turn, considered an act of piety that helped to smooth the path to Heaven for those concerned. Pilgrimage changed the face of Fife forever and earned it the nickname of the ‘Pilgrim Kingdom’.

Fife Pilgrim Way bronze floor discs being cast in the foundry

The Fife Pilgrim Way follows one of the routes taken by countless pilgrims to Scotland’s holy hot-spot.

The project was funded by Heritage Lottery and was a collaboration with ourselves and Eskimo Design. We worked on the structural elements and Eskimo created the graphics for the panels. We took inspiration from Jenny Proudfoot’s wonderful map illustration for the style of the bronze discs.

Newly cast bronze floor disc.

One of our illustrations for the bronze floor discs

One of the bronze floor discs installed into the pavement

Sustrans Cycle Path Gateway Artworks

Sustrans Cycle Path Gateway Artworks