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Scottish fact of the week: Glenkiln Sculpture Park

King and Queen (1952-53), one of four pieces Henry Moore gave to the Glenkiln Sculpture Park. Picture: Contributed

King and Queen (1952-53), one of four pieces Henry Moore gave to the Glenkiln Sculpture Park. Picture: Contributed

OVERLOOKING the clear blue waters of a nearby reservoir, Glenkiln Sculpture Park is an open air museum located in a beautiful part of Scotland.

Established in 1951 by Sir William Keswick, the park was the result of Sir William’s desire to exhibit sculptures in a natural setting.

Until recently, a total of six artworks were located at the park in Shawhead, near Dumfries.

Four pieces by renowned English sculptor Henry Moore, including Standing Figure (1950), King and Queen (1952–53), Upright Motive No. 1: Glenkiln Cross (1955–56) and Two Piece Reclining Figure No.1, can be found at the site.

Two further works by Jacob Epstein (Visitation, 1926) and Auguste Rodin, whose 1878 Saint John The Baptist artwork is the park’s oldest, also inhabit the undulating hillsides of Glenkiln.

Sir William’s outdoor gallery is not easy to find - the route is not signposted, and the park itself has no signage.

This is perhaps little wonder. In October last year, Moore’s Standing Figure was stolen from the park, which was the subject of a police inquiry. The statue, which is worth around £3 million, has not yet been returned.

The park is as remote as you can get for a public exhibition: there are no nearby amenities, which means some preparation is necessary before you visit. The upside is that Glenkiln Sculpture Park will likely be empty on most days - perfect for those seeking some solitude in a wilderness moulded by man and nature.

• To access Glenkiln Sculpture Park, take the A75 west of Dumfries, then take the Shawhead turn-off. Turn right at the crossroads, then make a left, then follow the road to Glenkiln

 

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