A STONE carver and bronze sculptor who lives in Gargrave has been recognised in the annual Stone Federation of Great Britain’s Natural stone awards 2020.

Joseph Hayton’s work - inspired by Pagan mythology - has won first prize in the carving, lettering and sculpture category - a step up from 2016 when his public sculpture, ‘Pillars Past’ was ‘highly commended’ in the same section.

His work, ‘Pagan Pillars and roundels’ features icons and imagery including green men and tree of life and also lines of text from the Ancient Greek poem, the Iliad by Homer.

The pair of roundels feature Yggdrasil Viking tree of life and a green man, and the stone work is carved from Portland limestone quarried in Dorset and Kilkenny Irish Limestone.

Joe, originally from Silsden, trained as a stone mason at York College before setting up business as a sculptor nine years ago, in 2012.

Based at the King Street workshops in Pateley Bridge, he says he has taken on numerous private commissions in both stone and bronze.

He said: “I’m very happy to have won this national award in the field of stone carving and sculpture.

“This is the second time the stone federation have recognised my work so I must be doing something right. The competition this time was stiff despite all that’s going on, it just a shame we can’t have the award ceremony in London like in normal times.”

The award ceremony usually takes place in London, but was unable to take place because of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, a virtual ceremony took place on March 19.

Joe is currently working on figurative pieces to be cast in bronze and a large green man water spout carved in limestone.