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The Bowyers Carving at Bluewater

Bluewater Shopping Centre, which was completed in 1999, was built in a redundant quarry near to Greenhithe, Kent. The centre, which is one of the top shopping centres in Europe, has three double-storey arcades, one of which is known as the "Guildhall". The frieze of the upper storey of Bluewater's "Guildhall" is decorated with 106 carvings representing the 100 Livery Companies of the City of London at the time of construction in 1999 plus the 6 Companies without Livery. Of those six, all but the Parish Clerks and the Watermen & Lightermen have since achieved full livery status. The carvings are set out in blocks of five in order of precedence and run from the Mercers (1) to the Information Technologists (100) followed by those of the six Companies without Livery. The eighth of these blocks contains the carvings representing the Coopers (36), Tylers & Bricklayers (37), Bowyers (38), Fletchers (39) and Blacksmiths (40). The final carving in the sequence, which represents the World Traders, being the odd one out, has been extended to fill a whole shopfront bay.

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