Hugh MacDiarmid Memorial
Art Langholm Borders

Hugh MacDiarmid Memorial

Art In Langholm, Borders

A cast iron book sculpture a dedicated to the Scottish poet Hugh MacDiarmid.

Perched atop Whita Hill stands the Hugh MacDiarmid Memorial overlooking Langholm which is the birthplace of the Scottish poet. Crafted by sculptor Jake Harvey and unveiled in 1985, this homage takes the shape of a colossal open book, forged from cast iron.

Within the pages of this literary tribute, intricately laser-cut images from MacDiarmid's poetic repertoire come to life. Iconic symbols like the thistle, the Auld Licht Kirk, and the Common Riding emerge, capturing the essence of his verses and the landscapes that inspired them.

This memorial beautifully pays tribute to MacDiarmid, a poet who was passionate about Scottish culture and identity. His poems covered various topics, from Scottish pride to the industrial history of the Scottish Borders. The memorial represents MacDiarmid's complex creativity and shows how he greatly influenced literature and culture.

Amid the poetic imagery, a poignant excerpt from his verse "A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle" graces the memorial:

"I hae seen the gled spread his wings on the lift,

But the thistle ne'er spread his wings for me."

This verse encapsulates MacDiarmid's complex relationship with Scotland. A fervent Scot, he was also a keen critic of his nation's history and contemporary state. The thistle, emblematic of Scotland, is both a marvel and a thorny symbol, mirroring the ambivalence MacDiarmid felt for his homeland.

Thanks to our new Fabulous North friend Claire Lucy for sending us these amazing photos.

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How To Find Hugh MacDiarmid Memorial

Where Is Hugh MacDiarmid Memorial?

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55.161155, -2.969682

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Where To Park For Hugh MacDiarmid Memorial?

There is a little parking area right next to the memorial just off the road.

Contributed by Simon Hawkins

Thanks for checking out this place on the Fabulous North! I do enjoy a wander out in to the countryside trying to find hidden gems that not many people know about. You can't beat a rogue Pele tower up a remote hill or a mysterious stone circle or a stunning waterfall secluded in a forest.

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Simon Hawkins

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