Crosby Sands: Another Place

Blundell Sands, Crosby, sits along the estuary of the river Mersey to the north of Liverpool. It’s the site of Another Place, a brilliant art installation by sculptor Antony Gormley (now ‘Sir’ Antony). I’ve seen several of Gormley’s installations, including arguably his most famous, The Angel of the North, but Another Place is my favourite and is in the north west of England which is where I live. I recently went to see the iron men again.

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The installation consists of a hundred solid cast iron figures which stand at intervals along the beach. At low tide they can all be seen but my favourite view is at high tide when some are partially submerged. Some appear to be sunk into the sand whilst others are raised and stand proud. All of the figures look out to sea.

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Gormley cast the figures in 17 different moulds made from his own body, so he’s sharing more than just his artistic vision. I wonder how he feels whenever he returns to see a hundred iron selves, barnacled and briny as they stand stoic, tide after tide, year after year.

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Gormley’s idea was to “…test time and tide, stillness and movement, and somehow engage with the daily life of the beach” as well as a “meditation on emigration.” Looking   in the same direction, all of the figures could be pondering new horizons beyond the Irish sea, some wading out to their destinies with the turning tide .

Birkenhead docks doesn’t make for the most enchanting backdrop but for Gormley this was real life and not romantic escapism . Although Another Place will now remain at Blundell Sands, it didn’t come into being there. Its first home was in Cuxhaven, Germany where, as in Crosby, busy container ships would pass by along the river Elbe.

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A figure observes Burbo Bank offshore wind farm or maybe he’s more interested in the other figure who can just be seen to the left partially covered by the water.

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After Germany, the installation was sited in Norway and Belgium before it arrived in Crosby, and should have voyaged on to New York, but it had become so popular here that a decision was made to make the figures permanent features, something which Gormley approved of.

Not everybody is a fan of Another Place; some local people hate it. I think they are very lucky!

Internet image shows Gormley with one of his iron man creations






13 thoughts on “Crosby Sands: Another Place

  1. shazza June 21, 2018 / 6:06 am

    Ahh I love Another Place too. I visited on a blustery Winters day. Hugo was fascinated by the figures. We will have to have a Summer Visit. 🙂 Glad Crosby Sands got to keep them. X

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amanda's Travel Diary June 21, 2018 / 4:58 pm

      I can picture Hugo checking out the figures 😁 The beach itself isn’t anything special (sorry if anyone local reads this) but it’s worth a visit to see Another Place.


      • shazza June 21, 2018 / 5:09 pm

        Yes, they certainly make it special. 🙂 x

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Cora Morris June 21, 2018 / 6:19 am

    We visited the beach some years ago, a very impressive sight!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amanda's Travel Diary June 21, 2018 / 7:44 am

      It’s amazing, Cora. I love to observe the effects of the water and weathering on these figures and how they are aging like the rest of us but still looking with anticipation to the distant horizon.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. jennypellett June 21, 2018 / 6:54 am

    I love this place! Thanks for the stunning photographs which bring back memories of my pilgrimage here. Wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. fatdormouse August 27, 2019 / 1:57 pm

    I’ve just found your blog and am enjoying reading your Liverpool section, as that’s where I’m from. My mum still lives near Crosby – in Lunt, near Sefton Church – and when we visit we love to go to see Another Place. I went to school just up the road at Merchant Taylors’

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome to the Beautiful North August 27, 2019 / 2:18 pm

      Thank you very much. ‘Another Place’ is wonderful. It amazes me that so many local people ( apparently) really hate it!


      • fatdormouse August 27, 2019 / 2:25 pm

        I’m surprised by that too. I thought most people were quite protective of them. I like the way people engage with it – dressing the figures in football kit or Santa hats. Although I believe they’ve been recently spray painted which doesn’t seem right. I know there was concern about rare wading birds being frightened away.

        Liked by 1 person

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