Sir Leonard Hutton Gates form the main entrance way to the Headingley Sports Stadium in Leeds. They are situated by Yorkshire cricket ground’s west stand, part of the extensive redevelopment of the cricket ground and sports stadium in 2001. The gates were commissioned by the Yorkshire County Cricket Club to commemorate the achievements of the renowned Yorkshire cricketer Sir Leonard Hutton and to mark the refurbishment of the grounds in celebration of the contemporary game.

The timescale for design, manufacture and installation by Chrysalis Arts was extremely tight from the outset: approached in April, Kate Maddison designed the double gates in June, they were manufactured, installed and were opened on 15th August 2001 by the Y.C.C.C. president Robin Smith, and Lady Hutton and her son Richard Hutton. The design process involved research through historic documentation of Sir Leonard Huttons cricket career, and a photographic session at a one-day international match England versus Pakistan at Headingley. There were a number of meetings with representatives from the Y.C.C.C. DLA Architects, and Ballast the main contractors responsible for the West stand redevelopment, and design approval by Y.C.C.C. The design for the gates has three essential elements; the steel framework and overall composition based on a scale plan of the Headingley grounds, cast bronze pieces of real and modelled cricket items, and cut-out steelwork of silhouette images derived from historic or contemporary photographs.

Sir Leonard Hutton Gates comprise of two pairs of gates spanning an 8.5 metre gateway. Each pair of gates is framed in steel depicting the current aerial view of the Headingley stadium. The left pair include cut-out steel images of a high point in Sir Leonard Hutton’s career as a batsman; the scoreboard at the Oval in 1938 showing Hutton’s record score of 364 at the moment he was out. The right pair of gates have a rectangular panel with an image derived from two historic photographs, the upper is the moment at which Hutton broke the record of 334 at the Oval in 1938, the lower is of the England team that regained the Ashes in 1953. The right gates also feature a portrait of Sir Leonard Hutton derived from a photograph taken in later life which gives an insight into his engaging personality. In the panel positioned at the ‘crease’ on the framed plan view on the left pair of gates, two cricket bats cast in bronze are featured, on the right pair of gates, a wicket of three stumps and two bails. Two cast bronze panels, one on each pair of gates, has a representation of the items worn by a batsman including a Y.C.C.C. Cap, glove and pad.

Both gates have the words’ SIR LEONARD HUTTON GATES’ in cut out of steel plate at the top of the gates. They also feature two drop bolts cast in bronze from a real stump and bail to secure the gates in position. They feature two triangular panels derived from contemporary photographs of the audience and supporters of a cricket match at Headingley. The curved plan form of the stadium forms an emblematic centre-piece to both pairs of gates, ridged steel bar indicate the tiered seating. A series of fourty bronze tiles, twenty on each gate, have a cast surface pattern featuring the imprinted seam of a cricket ball as it marks the crease during bowling. These tiles are placed at the position of the stairwells on the stadium to form a decorative ring, which also includes a cast bronze cricket ball on both pairs of gates.

The centre gate-post is topped by a cast bronze emblem derived from a sculpture plan of the stadium. This is an artistic link between the two sets of gates and refers to the idea of the trophy and the plate as a symbol of sporting achievement. The gates are painted black to shows the silhouette work to best advantage, white outlines the central stadium emblem and the natural colour of bronze will darken and oxidise green to highlight the cast work.

Project & Date: Sir Leonard Hutton Gates  2001
Location:  Headingley Sports Stadium, Leeds
Commissioned by Yorkshire County Cricket Club with funding from Arts Council England
Lead artist: Kate Maddison, Chrysalis Arts
Structural Engineer: Jones Kingswell of Ilkey
Manufacture by Modern Equipment and Foundry Engineering of Keighley, Ray Bradley Engineering of Gargrave, Philip Moss of Winterburn, bronze cast work by Lodge Foundry of Rochdale.

Photos by Porl Medlock