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This sculpture trail is geographically ordered, commencing from Barnard Castle and travelling the length of Teesdale. The trail is within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and is routed to take in a variety of sculptural installations, in the main works by locally based sculptor Phil Townsend, but also including pieces by artists Keith Alexander and Victoria Brailsford.


The trail can be completed on a drive through Teesdale or as a round trip. Either way, there is a short detour into Eggleston to take into account. Most of the works can be seen from the roadside, others are a little off the road.

11 artworks
Journey through Teesdale 2013
Philip Townsend (b.1947) and UrbanCrazy
Buff sandstone & ceramic
1

Crazy about golf and sculpture? Then this is is a hole in one

Commissioned as ‘feature’ sculptures for the town’s mini-golf course, these six stone monoliths are carved in relief to symbolize six of Barnard Castle’s historic buildings: The Market Cross, The Witham Hall, The Bowes Museum, Egglestone Abbey, The County Bridge and The Castle. On the reverse side, you will find an inset tile showing the artist’s view of each building.


The course is close to Barnard Castle’s market area and shops; in sight of the ruins of Barnard Castle and close to the River Tees. Each of the landmarks depicted, apart from the Abbey (1 mile away), can be reached on a short walk.

Marker Post (Folly Top)
Philip Townsend (b.1947)
Wood & ceramic
H 210 x W 22 x D 23 cm
2

It would be a ‘folly’ to miss this first marker (it's on the left by the post box)

The village of Eggleston encapsulates four outlying areas. The wooded hill from which you approach the village is known as Folly Top, and a community arts project was devised to give it and the other areas of Hill Top, Blackton, and Egglesburn, each a ‘named’ marker post of similar design, but with its own individual set of artwork. The posts each have two of their four sides showing local points of interest illustrated on a series of ceramic tiles made by villagers in dedicated workshops.

1914 Centenary Memorial 2014
Philip Townsend (b.1947)
Dunhouse Buff sandstone
H 212 x W 70 x D 48 cm
3

Lest we forget

The memorial is carved from a block of local Dunhouse buff sandstone with a naturally cleaved rear face. It depicts a battlefield grave marker in the form of an upturned WW1 Lee-Enfield rifle surmounted by a helmet, fixed into the ground by its bayonet. Next to it, running from top to bottom, are the words 'LEST WE FORGET', while on the side a poppy grows from within a coil of barbed wire, and skylarks fly above.
This sculpture is in Eggleston village itself, at the top of the green and to the side of the entrance to the village hall, which is on your right as you approach it.

Community Seating 2011
Philip Townsend (b.1947)
Wood & ceramic
H 180 x W 260 x D 205 cm
4

Picnic and/or play here for a while

Just past and across from the village hall is the highly successful play park, and within it, looking out over the valley, is the _Community Seat _made from heavy staggered lengths of timber and inset with scores of ceramic tiles, created by villagers aged from 6 to 80. Time to rest, picnic, play, and discover things of significance to local people, portrayed in their often amazing tiles.

Marker Post (Hilltop)
Philip Townsend (b.1947)
Wood & ceramic
H 210 x W 22 x D 23 cm
5

On a hilltop

Continuing on, the road climbs again, and now you’ve got this far, check out the marker (unsurprisingly on top of the hill!) just past the Moorcock P. H. It has two seats – enjoy the view!

Marker Post (Blackton)
Philip Townsend (b.1947)
Wood & ceramic
H 210 x W 22 x D 23 cm
6

Marking an outer border of Eggleston

This marker is sited next to the track that led to the busy Blackton Smelt Mill, where, a century ago, much of the lead ore from the mines that abounded in Teesdale was taken for processing. The heavy ore was transported by packhorse from the upper dale, across the bridge found down the road opposite, which crosses Egglesburn Beck. Some of the tiles on the post are linked to this lead-mining heritage.

Marker Post (Egglesburn)
Philip Townsend (b.1947)
Wood & ceramic
H 210 x W 22 x D 23 cm
7

Marking the boundary on the road to Middleton in Teesdale

Having crossed the road and travelled over the bridge and down the hill, you will eventually join the main road to Middleton-in-Teesdale. Across this road you will see the last of the four Marker Posts at Egglesburn, highlighting the watercourse which gives Eggleston its name. You have now passed through the four outlying yet distinct areas surrounding, but still part of, a village which is often regarded as the Gateway to Upper Teesdale.


From this marker, you are invited to journey on into the North Pennines Area of Natural Beauty (AONB). Heading uphill towards Middleton in Teesdale you will come to a large lay-by overlooking a superb view of the Teesdale with the river and the Millennium Footbridge below.

Air 2016
Victoria Brailsford (b.1966)
Cast iron
H 144 x W 180 x D 4 cm
8

As light as a feather but firmly grounded

Air by Victoria Brailsford is a cast iron stylised sculpture of a feather, sited on a stone plinth in keeping with the stone-walled fields of the Teesdale landscape. Inspired by a sense of freedom and flight, this monumental cast iron feather perches above the breath-taking views. It is the first view marker in a series of eleven 'Elements' across Teesdale. So if the bug for sculpture trails has set in, then Air provides the perfect impetus for another excursion following a trail of Teesdale View Markers.

Sheep 2002
Keith Alexander (b.1956)
Limestone
H 160 x W 100 x D 1000 cm
9

Pleased to see Ewe

On the route of the Pennine Way Trail, north of Middleton-in-Teesdale, between Low Force and High Force waterfalls are two stone sheep sculptures by Keith Alexander. Sheep is a stone carving of two life-sized sheep standing on a drystone wall plinth and can be seen after a leisurely walk, across a field and a bridge over the River Tees at Low Force. This is a picturesque view not to be missed. Low Force is signposted. Bowlees Visitor Centre is perfect for parking, food and a brew. A modest walk from the car park will take you to the waterfall and Gibson’s Cave, much-loved views by walkers and photographers alike.

Human Sundial
Philip Townsend (b.1947)
Stone
H 280 x W 460 cm
10

Step forward into time

This Human Sundial, made from slate, is located on a grassed section in the High Force Hotel car park, Upper Teesdale. It is set into the ground so look for the interpretation panel to see where it is located. A semi-circle of numbers shows the hours, set for British Summer Time (i.e. minus 1 hour for GMT). The months of the year are carved into slate at the centre of the semi-circle. Standing on the current month, with the sun on your back, your shadow will indicate the time.


Again, this is a site of natural beauty with the famous and spectacular High Force waterfall just over the road, another must for viewing if you’ve got this far. The site entrance is opposite the hotel.

Through Time Clock (and Two Markers) 2005
Philip Townsend (b.1947)
Dunhouse Buff sandstone
H 200 x W 100 x D 38 cm
11

If you have an eye for a timeline this will take you back

Geological Time, a three-part sculpture attempts to give an idea of the vastness of geological time. The sandstone block is carved on its rough, rear side to show giant versions of locally found fossils, on its other smooth side are inset ceramic tiles naming geological periods. There are two peepholes in the stone (for both child and adult heights) which take the eye to two distant markers. The nearer one is 57 metres away, and it marks the ‘Beginning of Fossil Life’ c.570 million years ago, on a scale where each metre walked equals 10 million years. The other marker post (painted white) can be seen over a quarter of a mile beyond it, and on the same timescale represents the 'Big Bang', when the universe is thought to have begun.