Farthing Downs, City of London


Interpretive Lectern Displays for Farthing Downs


Farthing Downs & New Hill, owned and managed by the City of London, is a 95 hectare (235 acre) area of chalk grassland lying within the London green belt. Farthing Downs was designated in 1975 as part of the Farthing Downs and Happy Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for having the ‘most extensive area of semi-natural downland habitats remaining in Greater London.

A long history of human activity has been recorded on the site with archaeological finds and features dating from the Neolithic, Iron Age and Roman periods. The site was cultivated up to the 2nd Century AD and afterwards used as pasture for grazing animals.

Rangers, contractors and volunteers manage the site so that present and future generations of visitors can enjoy the open space only a stone's throw away from London.

Project Motivation

The City of London, has long shared a vision with the local community to improve awareness of the rich history, cultural significance and wildlife value of the open space. Bearing this in mind, as well as a broader ongoing project to improve site facilities, and it became clear communication of site information would need to be enhanced.

With this in mind and in conjunction with project partners, The Friends of Farthing Downs and the Old Surrey Downs Project, they began investigating potential providers. Keen to work with a company able to offer a full service from research and design through to manufacture, Fitzpatrick Woolmer were appointed.


Fitzpatrick Woolmer’s solution involved a suite of 5 A1 semi-seasoned oak Musketeer™ lectern displays, in addition to a semi-seasoned oak ladder sign. Each lectern would provide interpretation about one of the key aspects of the site e.g. its rich heritage, its nature and wildlife and links to the City of London. From researching to copywriting, illustration and hand-drawn watercolour illustrative mapping, Fitzpatrick Woolmer developed the displays from scratch, to create a range of engaging and informative high quality oak displays.