This week’s curiosity is an unexpected treasure which springs out from the landscape in Dumfries & Galloway in south-west Scotland. Striding Arches, created by local artist Andy Goldsworthy, is a series of red sandstone arches that can be found on the hilltops at Cairnhead.
Andy Goldsworthy’s Striding Arches have been installed in an area of natural beauty and stand around a natural ampitheatre. Each arch stands at about four metres high and spans about seven metres. The unusual sculptures each consist of 31 blocks of hand-dressed red sandstone weighing approximately 27 tons. The arches can be found on Bail Hill, Benbrack and Colt Hill.
The most accessible of Goldsworthy’s sculptures is slightly different to the other arches and emerges from an old cow shed called The Byre. The Byre provides a meeting point for visitors to the Striding Arches and has stone seating in the area outside it, allowing people to pause and contemplate the beautiful landscape from the heart of the glen.
Goldsworthy himself travels all over the world to carry out commissions but the landscape around his home in Dumfriesshire remains at the heart of his work. The self-supporting stone arch, like the Striding Arches, is a form that Goldsworthy first built in the early 1980s and has recurred in his work ever since.
Goldsworthy’s hilltop arches are positioned so that no matter which arch you stand at, you should always be able to see the other two. If you would like to visit the area and see these curious arches then a detailed map of the area is available to download from www.stridingarches.com.
If you have an idea for Curiosity of the Week then do get in touch, we welcome suggestions from everyone. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, we are always on the lookout for unique and interesting places to discover.
Visit again next week when we will have a rather unusual windmill for you to read about!