Commemorative Planter for HRH Prince William and Centrepoint

Tuesday, June 20 , 2023

Commemorative Planter for HRH Prince William and Centrepoint


We were delighted to donate a feature planter to the courtyard garden of the new Centrepoint independent living center in south east London. The planter has been engraved to commemorate the project’s official opening by HRH Prince William. Here’s how we became involved with the project.

Work experience

Back in 2019 Chilstone offered work experience to a group of young people from Centrepoint to help out on our stand at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Our General Manager, Steve Clark was so impressed with the young people, Danny and Antonio that he stayed in touch with the charity, wanting to offer the work experience again. But by 2020 the pandemic hit and Chelsea was cancelled for the first time since World War II.

Chilstone General Manager Steve Clark with Antonio who gained work experience with Chilstone, standing by the engraved planter made by Chilstone for the opening of Ruben House for Charity Centrepoint. Photo by Rebekah Kennington

Chilstone General Manager Steve Clark with Antonio who gained work experience with Chilstone. Photo by Rebekah Kennington

But the charity had made a big impression, and so in 2021, Steve reached out with another idea to help, uniting his contacts from years of exhibiting at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. He connected Centrepoint to Project Giving Back resulting in them receiving the funding for a show garden on Main Venue at Chelsea.

Homeless Charity With a Royal Patron

Centrepoint is a London based charity that aims to help vulnerable young people move on from homelessness and build a future they can believe in. This charity’s patron is HRH The Prince of Wales, as his mother was before him. The charity is an important focus of Prince William’s work, he’s even slept out on the streets to highlight the issues addressed by the charity. So Centrepoint were delighted when the prince agreed to open their new independent living center Ruben House.

Prince William standing beside a handmade Chilstone urn, engraved to commemorate the opening of Ruben House, a new supported accommodation by Centrepoint to help young homeless people.

Prince William opens new homeless project by Chilstone engraved urn. Photo by Rebekah Kennington.

Centrepoint helps young people across the country transition from rough sleeping. They provide a safe place to stay as well as preparing them to live independently in the future. Over the past fifty years they have supported thousands of  vulnerable young people, with an aim to stop future homelessness for good. Ruben House is a new project developed to help homeless young people transition into working life with support and encouragement, learning to adjust and care for themselves, with the means to earn a living and pay rent. To learn about Centrepoint or to donate to their charity click here.

A Planter to Commemorate The Opening of Ruben House

The opening of Ruben House comes after the Centrepoint garden at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show,  designed by seven RHS gold medal winning designer Cleve West. The garden at Chelsea was to raise awareness of youth homelessness and Ruben House is an important part of the process to help affected young people to rebuild their lives. Ruben House is a new supported independent living unit from Centrepoint to help young people back into work. The south London accommodation is part of a national scheme as a stepping stone helping young homeless people into work to gain independence. It was opened by the charity’s patron HRH The Prince of Wales beside the large, handmade Chilstone planter containing a sapling from the garden designed by Cleve West. The planter was handmade by Chilstone and the lettering was hand carved by onsite engraver Nigel Hartfield.

Our handmade large Kent Bowl is perfect for courtyard gardens and entrances. Photo by Rebekah Kennington

Our large Kent Bowl was engraved by our talented onsite engraver, Nigel Hartfield. Photo by Rebekah Kennington

The planter is our popular large Kent Bowl, designed to accommodate ornamental trees in a sleek and contemporary style.

A Garden to Raise Awareness of Youth Homelessness

The Centrepoint garden, created by Cleve West, was funded by Project Giving Back to highlight the issue of youth homelessness at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The garden featured a broken Victorian house with only the hearth, the center of a family home remaining as a large birch tree lay across the space, uprooted like the children that Centrepoint help. Cleve’s Centrepoint garden won a RHS gold medal at the  show. The Chelsea Flower Show is the most prestigious plant show in the UK, with media coverage around the world. Young people from Centrepoint worked on a number of the gardens exhibited alongside the designers and plantsmen, gaining valuable work experience in the horticultural business.

Garden designer, Cleve West standing by the hearth talking about his Centrepoint garden to BBC Radio.

Handcrafted in Kent

Our commemorative planter donated to Centrepoint was engraved and inlaid with gold paint. Many of our handcrafted cast stone garden ornaments can be personalised by our onsite engraver Nigel Hartfield. He also engraves date stones and house names on request. Chilstone are one of the few artisan manufacturers to offer this skilled service to our customers.

Our talented onsite engraver, Nigel Hartfield has worked on projects for the BBC and the Chelsea Flower Show.

Nigel’s work has featured on the BBC and show gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Chilstone were happy to create this handcrafted planter for HRH Prince William, especially since we are celebrating seventy years in business, having opened in June 1953 on the day of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation!  The royal connection doesn’t end there, Chilstone was commissioned to create bespoke planters for the Sunken Garden Kensington Palace gardens for the redesign for his mother’s memorial. The Sunken Garden was a place Princess Diana loved and we were honoured to create twenty planters for such a special garden.

Chilstone supplied Kensington Palace with bespoke planters for a redesign as a memorial to Princess Diana.

We have also restored the elaborate Golden Staircase at Hever Castle, home of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s controversial second wife.

Celebrating Seventy Years in Business

Since our business started seventy years ago we have won multiple awards at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and created ornaments for prestigious gardens around the world .

To commemorate our seventy years in business we released our Coronation Sundial, not anticipating that it would be released at the time of King Charles’ coronation. This working sundial was designed by Matt Spicer, featuring an engraved face to weather beautifully over time.

Our new Coronation Sundial was created to celebrate our seventieth year in business.

If you’re looking for garden inspiration or beautiful handcrafted garden ornaments to last call us to book an appointment or pop in and see us!

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