A NEW plaque is to be installed on the Gillingham town bridge, celebrating an oil painting of the site from nearly 200 years ago.

In 1823 landscape artist John Constable painted ‘Gillingham Bridge, Dorset’ during his second visit to the town, which is now displayed in the Tate Britain gallery in London.

Plans for a fresh commemorative plaque to be placed at the subject of the artist’s painting, which would pay homage to both the bridge and Constable, were discussed at a Gillingham Town Council meeting last week.

While the signage is being organised and paid for by the Gillingham Local History Society, it was up to the council to approve the chosen wording for the plans to continue.

Town clerk Julie Hawkins explained that planning permission was “already in place for the plaque”, adding that the conservation officer would approve the words “on the condition [the council was] happy with them”.

All councillors backed the motion apart from Councillors Sharon Cullingford and Donna Toye, who had to abstain because of interests.

To see the oil painting click here.