Crawick Multiverse

On Easter Monday we set off for home after a lovely weekend in Galloway. We planned to stop at Crawick Multiverse, but were first distracted by the Red Deer Range in Galloway Forest Park. I admit I wasn’t too keen, as I thought the deer would just be a few specks in the distance, but they came right up to the hide.

Onwards to Crawick. What is it, I hear you ask? A former open-cast coal mine, it lay abandoned for 30 years until the landowner, the Duke of Bucclech, commissioned landscape artist Charles Jencks to transform it into the artland it has been since 2015.Β The site’s themes are space, astronomy and cosmology, with features and landforms representing the sun, universes, galaxies, black holes and comets. Having seen Jencks’ work at the Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh and at Jupiter Artland I was very keen to visit Crawick. It didn’t disappoint.

I’m not sure I can explain much more – you really have to see it. All the features have names, but I haven’t included captions because a) I can’t remember which is which in some cases and b) it would be very time-consuming to label them all. The two mounds with spiral paths which appear a lot represent the Milky Way and Andromeda, but other than that I’ll let the slide-show do the talking.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There is absolutely nothing else at Crawick Multiverse – maybe this will change in the future, but for the moment the ticket office is a Portakabin and there’s also a portable toilet. If you want to eat, the nearest town isΒ Sanquhar – although you might find, as seems common in this area, that kitchens keep very restricted hours. However, we had a good lunch in the Oasis Restaurant, part of the Nithsdale Hotel.

So ends our short stay in Galloway, a beautiful part of the country to which I can’t wait to return.


45 thoughts on “Crawick Multiverse

  1. Marcia Strykowski July 24, 2017 / 11:13

    What a great place. I love seeing deer and other wildlife. Thanks for this beautiful glimpse of Galloway!


  2. Pit July 24, 2017 / 14:16

    Hi Anabel,
    This really looks like an interesting place. Very interesting. Maybe it should be left as it is now, with just a portacabin and a portapotty. To my mind, that kind of symbolizes the vastness and the emptiness of the universe. Well, not the portapotty, that is! πŸ˜‰
    Have a great week,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anabel Marsh July 24, 2017 / 14:46

      That’s a good point! The facilities did add to the general bleakness – the whole area still seems quite raw.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Donna July 24, 2017 / 17:25

    I’ve loved this trip to Galloway with you, Anabel! Great photos too!


  4. Heyjude July 24, 2017 / 21:13

    Galloway is a very beautiful region and I would happily return there. This place looks amazing and so empty, given it was Easter time.


    • Anabel Marsh July 24, 2017 / 23:08

      Not as empty as it looked – we had to work quite hard to get photos without kids running all over the formations!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Su Leslie July 25, 2017 / 02:00

    What an amazing-looking place. Will have to find out more about it. Love your deer encounter; definitely up close and personal. πŸ™‚


    • Anabel Marsh July 25, 2017 / 02:15

      It’s quite unlike anywhere else I’ve been – I found it hard to get my head round it when reading up beforehand.


  6. restlessjo July 25, 2017 / 08:28

    It’s great to find a new area to explore not too far from home. This is in the most beautiful setting, Anabel, and doesn’t it sit well with the landscape? We are lucky! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ And so close to the deer! πŸ™‚


    • Anabel Marsh July 25, 2017 / 16:38

      I know, Dumfries and Galloway is often overlooked but it’s just as beautiful and interesting as more popular parts of Scotland.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. susan@onesmallwalk July 25, 2017 / 16:06

    How interesting. Love the tail on the unicorn – it is forever in the wind πŸ™‚


  8. hilarymb July 25, 2017 / 18:19

    Hi Anabel – what two wonderful places to visit .. the red deer – oh yes I’d love to have seen one of those over the window … that craft place looks amazing – would love to see it … cheers Hilary


  9. Blue Sky Scotland July 26, 2017 / 11:35

    Didn’t know about the deer park at all and good you get so close to them. The Multiverse concept I’ve been interested in since reading His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman years ago and more recently the Bioshock games and since then I’ve watched a lot of BBC 4 horizon programmes to try and understand this theoretical science concept about hidden worlds overlapping our own visible universe further. Liked your photos and a unique attempt to explain already mind boggling theories and complex ideas in a stone and landscape setting.


    • Anabel Marsh July 26, 2017 / 14:42

      Oh, I love those Philip Pullman books too! I hadn’t thought of making the connection though – intriguing.


  10. Jessica (Diverting Journeys) July 26, 2017 / 13:53

    Those deer are pretty cute, but having a hide to um, hide behind is probably a good thing! I like looking at the deer in Richmond Park, but I’m scared of the stags, especially during rutting season! It freaks me out how they just hang out in big herds, and don’t seem bothered by people at all…I worry that if you annoyed them, they might decide to attack. I like wildlife, but I don’t trust it!


    • Anabel Marsh July 26, 2017 / 14:46

      Yes, I wouldn’t like to be that close without a barrier. Large animals can do large damage!


  11. Green Global Trek July 26, 2017 / 14:55

    Those deer are so cute!

    I love the concept behind this place and the implementation and the themes. The work itself is remindful of another great artist who works in nature Andy Goldsworthy. Do you know his work? It is incredible!

    Your photos are terrific. Thabks for sharing this unusual destination.



    • Anabel Marsh July 26, 2017 / 15:45

      Thanks Peta. Yes, we have seen some Andy Goldsworthy installations – in fact, we had a choice on our way home from Galloway to visit Crawick or AG’s piece “Striding Edge” which is also nearby. It involves a hill climb though, and in the time available we thought Crawick was the better option. A special visit to Striding Edge will have to be arranged!


  12. Silvia Writes July 26, 2017 / 18:00

    Nature gives us so much beauty. Lovely place, Anabel. I hope you get to return to a place that seems to have had an impact. Sure see why. Thank you.


  13. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor July 26, 2017 / 19:11

    I couldn’t get the slideshow to work, but the picture you have of Crawick Multiverse at the top looks quite intriguing. How wonderful to see the deer so close-up.


    • Anabel Marsh July 26, 2017 / 20:16

      Hmm, not sure the slideshow was such a great idea! It seems very slow to look at the best of times. I’ll stick to galleries in future. Glad you. Liked the deer anyway.


  14. lisadorenfest July 27, 2017 / 02:00

    OMG how cool is that Crawick Multiverse?!?! Love, love, love the photos. Added to the list. And I love the adorable little faces at the Red Deer Range!


  15. Liesbet July 27, 2017 / 17:00

    A bizarre, yet beautiful site. I enjoy looking at human interpretations and creations of a natural kind, brought back to the land as exhibitions. I’ve heard many nice things about Galloway, but have never visited.


  16. ms6282 July 27, 2017 / 23:21

    This is somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for a while. I’m away on holiday this week and am viewing this post on my ipad. As WordPress sludeshows run on Java I can’t view 😞it as Mr Jobs forbade it 😬. I’ll look forward to viewing your photos on my pc when I get home ! πŸ‘


    • Anabel Marsh July 28, 2017 / 07:42

      Strange, I can see them on my iPad (and not just my own slideshows) though sometimes they take a bit to load. Crawick is definitely worth seeing.


  17. karen207 July 28, 2017 / 21:19

    Another fascinating location, Anabel. I especially love places where a person’s quirky creativity is shared for the benefit of all.


  18. Denzil July 31, 2017 / 09:02

    Wow that hide certainly brings you close to the wildlife!


    • Anabel Marsh July 31, 2017 / 09:26

      It does! I was really surprised that they approached so closely – though some people, who had obviously planned their visit, had carrots.


  19. Birgit July 31, 2017 / 15:43

    These deer look scruffy but so cute. I’m glad they are as friendly as they seem to be. The picture of the art didn’t show up here for some reason. I will have to try again and see if it does show. It sounds like a great way to showcase art.


    • Anabel Marsh July 31, 2017 / 16:28

      A few people have said the slide show wouldn’t work – I’ll not try that again! Have you tried on your PC?


  20. jazzfeathers August 16, 2017 / 08:46

    Wow! And this used to be a mine????
    I really really like all those ‘sculpures’. They give a sense of tranquillity.
    Pity for the lack of services. But I’m sure that, if the public keeps reacting positively, they will have to start offering a cafe and toilets at the very least πŸ˜‰


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