The Striding Arches are a series of stone sculptures by the artist, Andy Goldsworthy. They purport to depict the Scots of the Scottish Diaspora leaving their native byres and striding through the landscape out into the world beyond. There are 4 arches at Cairnhead, near Monaive in southern Scotland, with other arches in Canada, the USA and New Zealand, reflecting the destinations of many of the migrant Scots.
The Byre at Cairnhead, looking the valley of Dalwhat
Cairnhead (or Conraich in the Gaelic language) is a small shepherd's cottage and byre (cattleshed) at the head of the valley of Dalwhat Water. Abandoned a number of years ago, it became the focus for the Striding Arches project. Bail Hill, Colt Hill and Benbrack form a natural amphitheatre around Cairnhead; the "home" arch is at Cairnhead, springing from the small byre and the other three arches are on the tops of the hills mentioned. You can get a car up as far as Cairnhead, and there is a path from there around the other arches. It's a nice energetic walk on a fine summer day.
The arch at the summit of Benbrack, looking towards Carsphairn
The stone for the arches is local red sandstone, quarried at Locharbriggs, some thirty miles away. Locharbriggs sandstone is well known for its appearance and durability; much of it went to America as ballast in the cross-Atlantic cargo and passenger ships, and many of the New York brownstone buildings are made from the stone of this wee Scottish town, as is the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.
Oh, wonderful post! I have admired Goldsworthy for years and he is also very well known in art circles of the US. I've seen photos of of his work, but never of the arches. Also, what fascinating info about use of the same stone in New York! I wouldn't mind a reddish slab of that, myself.
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