Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Three Chairs

I’ve long been a fan of Andy Goldsworthy.  His sculptures are masterpieces in the use of natural materials set in natural landscapes with his use of rock being excellent.

I stumbled upon the existence of “The Three Chairs” when researching a walk up to Clougha Pike, a TRAIL 100 summit on the edge of the Forest of Bowland that overlooks the Fylde peninsula and Lancaster.  It took a bit of digging to establish exactly where the sculpture was situated, but I stumbled across a GPS track that gave me a very good idea of where to look.

The Victoria Monument on the Quernmore-Abbeystead road has a spacious car park from where I set off.  The fence follows a straight line over some boggy ground to Grit Fell and then the hunt for the chairs was on.  Walking north-west over some very populated grouse moorland, the chairs soon came into view.

The Three Chairs
There is some debate as to the true name of the work with the internet suggesting “Clougha Pike” and “Clougha Pike Chambers”.  They look like three tissue boxes stood on their ends and can easily shelter one or two (or maybe three) people each.  They offer a superb photo-opportunity and I took full advantage of this.  They were the clear highlight of the walk.

Like many lower hills, Clougha Pike has some good views too.  Ingleborough is the most prominent summit seen although the view to Lakeland was obscured by low lying cloud.  Blackpool Tower was clearly in view; its dark framework structure contrasting nicely with the brighter sky below the cloud level.

a distant Blackpool Tower
The summit of Clougha Pike is adorned with three shelters and a trig point and would be a pleasant spot to relax in good weather although the changeable conditions for this visit weren’t too bad.  But I am sure that it is not one of the UK’s best 100 hills, as deemed by its inclusion in Trail magazine’s list.

But if you want some art on your travails amongst the hills, there can’t be many better places with such a notable artist’s work featured.