Where the story begins…

Along the upper reaches of the River Nith in Southern Scotland, the legacy of coal and other mining lies dotted across the landscape. In decades past, Crawick was home to an open cast coal mine, but it did not produce enough black gold to continue digging, so operations ceased, leaving the site abandoned.

The challenge…

The Duke of Buccleuch explored various options for restoration of the vast 55 acre site and saw huge potential. As a result, he set up the Crawick Artland Trust, committing £1million to an ambitious project to take the derelict site and put it back on the map as a world-class artland, visitor attraction and local amenity.

The Duke invited renowned artist Charles Jencks to the site to review its potential. At first glance, he only saw “dull ground, rocks…the end of nature”. However, as he studied the site, he saw a wealth of possibilities. Instead of seeing an industrial wasteland, he saw the bones of a marvellous ecology. The terrain offered a ready-made meadow, desert, gorge and brook. The dropping of excess slag had even created a ridge which offered panoramic views of the beautiful surrounding valleys. This, alongside the breathtaking landscape, helped Jencks’ vision take shape.

The next chapter…

Today, Crawick Multiverse is a stunning artland, drawing visitors from Scotland, the rest of the UK and beyond. It is also a valuable local amenity, used for many events, community groups and as an outdoor classroom for art, history, astronomy and geography.
It links the themes of space, astronomy and cosmology, with a network of paths navigating feature and landforms which represent the sun, universes, galaxies, black holes, comets and more. The stunning landscape has something for everyone, from art enthusiasts and scientists to the wider community who can enjoy walks, picnics and kite flying. It will attract more visitors in years to come, in turn stimulating the local economy.

See more on Crawick Multiverse's website