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7 Sep 2018

Time for reflection in gardens of Brodick Castle

The new Silver Garden is inspired by the castle’s famous silver collection.
A new silver-themed garden in the grounds of Brodick Castle on Arran has been created, as part of a bid to attract more visitors to this historic property.

The Silver Garden reflects the castle’s extensive silver collection and includes four new art installations, along with a silver talking tube, xylophone and wind chimes.

The Silver Garden features bespoke sculptures
The Silver Garden features bespoke sculptures.

Among the new sculptures is a life-size statue of a stag, created by artist Sally Matthews and crafted from leaves of Arran whitebeam trees and bracken. The piece was inspired by the famous White Stag on Arran, a mythical creature said to have been spotted on several occasions, particularly around the Lochranza area.

The garden will also feature 21 reflective pillars, which have been influenced by Arran’s Machrie Moor Standing Stones – six Neolithic stone circles on the west coast of the isle. A series of silver bars have been placed under the Spanish Gate, a historic feature that marks the beginning of the woodland garden, which will be fully restored in the months ahead.

The stag sculpture is inspired by Arran’s mythical White Stag.
The stag sculpture is inspired by Arran’s mythical White Stag.

Jared Bowers, Operations Manager at Brodick Castle, Garden & Country Park said: ‘The Silver Garden is a celebration of the spectacular natural environment at Brodick Castle and the different influences that helped to shape it. Historically, the design of the gardens and grounds was inspired by Romanticism. The new additions to the gardens offer a fresh take on these ideals and are perfectly situated within Brodick’s location.’

“Using reflective materials, the installations create a sensory experience that blend and warp with their surroundings, encouraging people to find their own inspiration in the environment around them.”
Jared Bowers, Operations Manager

Brodick Castle is renowned for its silver collection, which was first gathered by English novelist William Beckford (1760–1844). Although Beckford never lived on Arran, part of his collection was inherited by the family who owned the castle.

While the gardens and estate are open to the public, Brodick Castle is closed until the 2019 season. Work costing £1.5m to protect the castle from fire has concluded and the National Trust for Scotland is now undertaking a complete re-organisation and re-interpretation of the collection, spending £3 million over the next five years to enhance visitor understanding and enjoyment. We hope these ongoing works will boost visitor numbers from around 45,000 per year to 100,000.

The work at Brodick Castle is part of the Trust’s programme to invest almost £60 million over the next five years. The Silver Garden is also an example of the ‘100 Ways’ in which the National Trust for Scotland is protecting Scotland’s heritage and is among the Trust’s priority projects for 2018–19.

Jared Bowers added: ‘The fire protection works on Brodick Castle have been completed and we now move on to the task of improving how visitors interact with the property. We’re investing in Brodick for the love of Scotland – its heritage, history, and culture. It underlines our commitment to protecting our country’s most-treasured places for current and future generations to enjoy.

‘Brodick Castle will also be the proving ground for our fresh approach to interpretation and presentation of Trust properties, providing visitors with a much-improved experience. We’re going to take the time to make sure we get this important work right and make the castle the must-visit attraction it deserves to be.’

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